BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuTrichinosisParasite infection - trichinosis; Trichiniasis; Trichinellosis; Roundworm - trichinosisTrichinosis is an infection with the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. Causes Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused by eating meat that has not been thoroughly cooked and contains cysts (larvae, or immature worms) of Trichinella spiralis. This parasite can be found in pig, bear, walrus, fox, rat, horse, and lion.Wild animals, especially carnivores (meat eaters) or omnivores (animals that eat both meat and plants), should be considered possible sources of roundworm disease. Domestic meat animals raised specifically for eating under US Department of Agriculture (government) guidelines and inspection can be considered safe. For this reason, trichinosis is rare in the United States, but it is a common infection worldwide.When a person eats meat from an infected animal, trichinella cysts break open in the intestine and grow into adult roundworms. The roundworms produce other worms that move through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. The worms invade muscle tissues, including the heart and diaphragm (the breathing muscle under the lungs). They can also infect the lungs and brain. The cysts remain alive for years. Symptoms Symptoms of trichinosis include:Abdominal discomfort, cramping Diarrhea Facial swelling around the eyes Fever Muscle pain (especially muscle pain with breathing, chewing, or using large muscles) Muscle painMuscle aches and pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Fascias are th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Muscle weakness Exams and Tests Tests to diagnose this condition include:Blood tests such as complete blood count (CBC), eosinophil count (a type of white blood cell), antibody test, and creatine kinase level (an enzyme found in muscle cells) CBCA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Eosinophil countAn absolute eosinophil count is a blood test that measures the number of one type of white blood cells called eosinophils. Eosinophils become active...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Antibody testAntibody titer is a laboratory test that measures the level of antibodies in a blood sample.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Creatine kinase levelThe creatine phosphokinase (CPK) isoenzymes test measures the different forms of CPK in the blood. CPK is an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Muscle biopsy to check for worms in the muscleMuscle biopsyA muscle biopsy is the removal of a small piece of muscle tissue for examination.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Medicines, such as albendazole, can be used to treat infections in the intestines. A mild infection does not usually need treatment. Pain medicine can help relieve muscle soreness after the larvae have invaded the muscles. Outlook (Prognosis) Most people with trichinosis have no symptoms and the infection goes away by itself. More severe infections may be difficult to treat, especially if the lungs, heart, or brain is involved. Possible Complications Possible complications include:Encephalitis (brain infection and inflammation) Heart failure Heart failureHeart failure is a condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body efficiently. This causes symptom...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Heart rhythm problems from heart inflammation Pneumonia When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of trichinosis and you recently ate undercooked or raw meat that might have been contaminated. Prevention Pork and meat from wild animals should be cooked until well done (no traces of pink). Freezing pork at a low temperature (5°F or -15°C or colder) for 3 to 4 weeks will kill the worms. Freezing wild game meat does not always kill the worms. Smoking, salting, and drying meat are also not reliable methods of killing the worms.Open ReferencesReferencesBogitsh BJ, Carter CE, Oeltmann TN. Intestinal nematodes. In: Bogitsh BJ, Carter CE, Oeltmann TN, eds. Human Parasitology. 5th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier Academic Press; 2019:chap 16.Diemert DJ. Nematode infections. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 335.Kazura JW. Tissue nematodes including trichinellosis, dracunculiasis, filariasis, loiasis, and onchocerciasis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 287.AllVideoImagesTogTrichinella spiralis in human muscle - illustration This is the parasite Trichinella spiralis in human muscle tissue. The parasite is transmitted by eating undercooked meats, especially pork. The cysts hatch in the intestines and produce large numbers of larvae that migrate into muscle tissue. The cysts may cause muscle pain and swelling in the face and around the eyes.Trichinella spiralis in human muscleillustrationDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationTrichinella spiralis in human muscle - illustration This is the parasite Trichinella spiralis in human muscle tissue. The parasite is transmitted by eating undercooked meats, especially pork. The cysts hatch in the intestines and produce large numbers of larvae that migrate into muscle tissue. The cysts may cause muscle pain and swelling in the face and around the eyes.Trichinella spiralis in human muscleillustrationDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationRelated Information Arrhythmias(Condition)Heart failure(Condition)Heart failure(In-Depth) Review Date: 12/24/2020 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. 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