Infestation with larvae of the worm Trichinella spiralis, contracted
from eating uncooked pork, etc. It is avoided by the adequate cooking of
pork products, and freezing meat to a temperature below -18°C for 24
hours. Chemotherapy may be helpful in severe cases.
|Light micrograph of tissue from a biopsy sample taken
from a patient's muscle shows a cyst formed by a Trichinella spiralis
larva, an infestation of which causes trichinosis
A slight infestation usually causes no problems. However, heavy infestation
may cause diarrhea and vomiting within a day or two of eating infected meat;
gastrointestinal symptoms are followed by fever;
edema around the eyes; severe muscle pains,
which may last for several weeks; and myocarditis
(inflammation of the heart muscle).
Diagnosis and treatment
Trichinosis may be suspected from the symptoms, and the diagnosis is confirmed
by blood tests, or by a muscle biopsy
(tissue sample). Treatment of the infestation is with an anthemintic drug.