Main » Infectious diseases » Infections Acquired through the Gastro-intestinal Tract » Trichinosis
Photo 1. Trichinella spirales. Larvae in meat crush preparation (1) and free in stomach (2). Trichinosis in man commonly results from eating raw or inadequately cooked pork or pork products, such as sausages. Pigs usually acquire the infection by eating infected rodents. The disease often occurs in small outbreaks traceable to a single source. (x550)
Photo 2. Trichinella spirales (in stomach).
Photo 3. Parasitic female Trichinella spiralis. Larvae excyst in the small intestine and develop into minute adults in the mucosa. Mature females deposit larvae which, some five days after infection migrate through the tissues to reach muscles in which they again encyst. Larviposition may continue for a week or more. Finally the larvae become calcified. (x60)
Photo 4. Bush pig. A common animal reservoir of infection in the tropics is the bush pig. The flesh of other carnivores such as the bear may also infect man.
Photo 5. Patient with acute trichinosis. The four cardinal features of the disease are fever, orbital oedema, myalgia and eosinophilia.
Photo 6. Fluorescent antiboy test. The gel-diffusion test has also proved a useful diagnostic procedure. Other serological tests are available for the detection of humoral antibodies which reach high titres in the acute stage, but are not protective. (Immunity is largely cell-ruediated.) (Bottom: negative control)
Photo 7. Larvae in muscle of fatal human case. Encysted larvae are found in the muscles at biopsy (or post mortem). Calcification of the encysted larvae occurs in about 18 months and may be detected on X-ray, but the encysted larvae remain alive for years. (x20)
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