Trichinosis (trik-ih-NO-sis), sometimes called trichinellosis, is a type of roundworm infection. Roundworms are parasites that use a host body to stay alive and reproduce. Trichinosis occurs primarily among meat-eating animals (carnivores), especially bears, foxes and walruses. Trichinosis infection is acquired by eating larvae in raw or undercooked meat.
When humans eat undercooked meat containing trichinella larvae, the larvae mature into adult worms in the intestine over several weeks. The adults then produce larvae that migrate through various tissues, including muscle. Trichinosis is most widespread in rural areas throughout the world.
Trichinosis can be treated with medication, though it's not always necessary. It's also easy to prevent.
May. 24, 2012
- Parasitic roundworm diseases: Trichinosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/trichinosis/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Trichinellosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Weller PF, et al. Trichinellosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Gottstein B, et al. Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of trichinellosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2009;22:127.
- Meat preparation: Fresh pork from farm to table. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Pork_From_Farm_to_Table/index.asp. Accessed May 3, 2012.
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