Trichinella larvae bury themselves inside muscle tissue rather than remain in the intestine as in other roundworm infections, so stool sample tests don't often show evidence of the parasite. The initial diagnosis relies on the classic signs and symptoms — swelling around the eyes, muscle inflammation and fever.
To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor might use these tests:
April 02, 2015
- Blood tests. Your doctor may take a blood sample and test it for signs suggesting trichinosis — an increase in the number of a certain type of white blood cell (eosinophils) or the formation of antibodies against the parasite after several weeks.
- Muscle biopsy. While the blood test typically is enough to establish a diagnosis, your doctor might also recommend a muscle biopsy. A small piece of muscle is removed and examined under a microscope to look for trichinella larvae.
- Trichinosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/trichinosis/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Trichinellosis FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Weller PF, et al. Trichinellosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.