USMLE

Trichinella spiralis

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Parasites
  1. Giardia lamblia
  2. Toxoplasma gondii
  3. Entamoeba histolytica
  4. Cryptosporidium
  5. Naegleria fowleri
  6. Trypanosoma brucei
  7. Plasmodium Overview
  8. Plasmodium Disease (Malaria)
  9. Babesia
  10. Trypanosoma cruzi
  11. Leishmania
  12. Trichomonas vaginalis
  13. Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm)
  14. Ascaris lumbricoides (giant roundworm)
  15. Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm)
  16. Ancyclostoma and Necator
  17. Trichinella spiralis
  18. Trichuris trichiura (whipworm)
  19. Toxocara canis
  20. Onchocerca volvulus
  21. Loa loa
  22. Wuchereria bancrofti
  23. Taenia solium
  24. Diphyllobothrium latum
  25. Echinococcus granulosus
  26. Schistosoma
  27. Clonorchis sinensis
  28. Sarcoptes scabiei (Scabies)
  29. Pediculus humanis and Phthirus pubis (Lice)

Summary

Trichinella spiralis is a species of nematode or roundworm parasite, also known as the “pork worm” because of its transmission through eating undercooked pork. After being ingested, the larvae can burrow into the intestinal wall and symptoms of GI upset, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. After penetrating the intestinal wall, the parasite can reach the bloodstream to migrate to skeletal muscle, where it forms cysts to cause myositis. Eosinophilia is a non-specific symptom of a parasitic infection that may also be seen. Also, an infection with trichinella may rarely cause periorbital edema. Bendazoles are the first line of treatment for trichinella infections.

Key Points

  • Trichinella spiralis 
    • Characteristics
      • Type of nematode (roundworm) parasite
    • Transmission
      • Consumption of larvae in undercooked pork
    • Presentation: Trichinellosis
      • GI symptoms
      • Myositis
      • Eosinophilia
      • Periorbital Edema
    • Diagnosis
      • Anti-trichinella antibodies detected in serum
      • Muscle biopsy may be diagnostic
      • PCR may also be used
    • Treatment
      • Bendazoles