Trichinosis - Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Humans

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Trichinosis - Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Humans
Trichinosis - Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Humans

Video: Trichinosis - Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Humans

Video: Trichinosis - Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Humans
Video: Trichinosis (Trichinellosis) Worm Infection 2023, December

Trichinosis can cause serious damage to internal organs, and in severe cases can lead to death. The source of trichinosis is usually the meat of wild animals; wild boars, wolves, bears, badgers, foxes can be carriers of the helminth. It is important to start treatment of the disease on time; this must be done under the supervision of a specialist.

The content of the article:

  • 1 What is trichinosis
  • 2 Causative agent of trichinosis
  • 3 Prevalence of trichinosis
  • 4 Source of trichinosis
  • 5 Symptoms of trichinosis in humans
  • 6 Pathological changes in the patient's body
  • 7 Treatment of trichinosis in humans
  • 8 Trichinosis treatment with folk remedies
  • 9 Complications of trichinosis in humans
  • 10 Prevention of trichinosis in humans

What is trichinosis

Did you know that all lovers of meat dishes and pork delicacies endanger their lives and health every day? It really is. The meat, which, in principle, most people eat, may contain Trichinella larvae. They are invisible to the naked eye and deadly to humans. Cause many diseases, including cancer.


Trichinella is an increased danger to humans. Its larvae are resistant to heat treatment of meat, smoking and salting. They roll up into small spirals and form reliable capsules of lime around them. Thus, they are protected from almost all external factors. They tolerate high and low temperatures with ease. Even a harsh chemical environment is not capable of killing them. In such a "dormant state", parasites can live for more than two decades, waiting for a convenient moment for further development.

Trichinella spiralis has a structure typical of all roundworms. The female grows up to 5 mm in length, the male - up to 3. The larva of the parasite barely reaches 0.1 mm. When it enters muscle tissue, its size increases slightly.

Trichinosis is a dangerous, often fatal, helminthic invasion of carnivorous mammals, including humans. The disease develops as a result of parasitizing the roundworms of Trichinella. It has a large distribution area and belongs to natural focal infections. It affects about 70 species of animal organisms around the planet.

The causative agent of trichinosis

Trichinosis in humans or animals is caused by small filamentous worms. They belong to the genus Trichinella, which includes four species - spiralis, navita, nelson, pseudospiralis. The first representative is considered the most dangerous for people.

The parasite has an elongated body with narrowed ends, round in cross section. On the inner side there is a stylet - a device for strengthening the wearer on the intestinal walls. The digestive system begins in the head with the mouth opening, then the esophagus, intestines and ends with the rectum.

The female Trichinella does not lay eggs, which is different from other worms. Live-born larvae in thousands fall from the genital opening directly into the bloodstream of the vessels, from where they spread throughout the body. In about 2 months of parasitization, the female gives birth to about 2000 larvae, then dies. In natural conditions, trichinosis of animals is common among both wild and domesticated inhabitants. These can be large and small carnivores, scavengers, rodents, sometimes birds, as well as animals that feed on infected biological debris.

Very rarely, invasion occurs in ruminants. Among livestock, trichinosis of pigs or horses is possible. The larvae of parasites can be carried by small rodents, poultry, cats and dogs, which are fed the remains of infected game, and particles of their feces enter the feed for livestock.


The source of human infection with trichinosis is the meat of wild animals, which he eats. The greatest probability of invasion is game. In order not to catch the disease, meat, for example, of a bear or elk, must be tested for parasite larvae.

Nematodes are characterized by a change of hosts or a change in localization in the body of one carrier. For trichinosis, both processes are characteristic. The development of Trichinella has its own characteristics. It begins with the ingestion of the first carrier of infected meat. For the first individual, this host will be both intermediate and main.

This stops the development cycle of Trichinella. The larva in the capsule must go to the next host in the digestive system in order to free itself and continue development.

Trichinosis prevalence


Trichinosis is a biohelminthiasis (a disease caused by parasitic Trichinella worms). It can affect humans or animals.

Trichinosis is common among animals such as bears, badgers, wild boars, foxes, and wolves. Sometimes Trichinella larvae infect domestic pigs. This happens when pigs eat the meat of fallen animals or rats.

Factors that determine the relatively high prevalence of trichinosis among humans:

  • high susceptibility of the human body to the pathogen;
  • unstable immunity: after the transferred trichinosis, immunity is formed, but it is rather weak and short-lived, which contributes to the recurrence of the disease;
  • high prevalence in all climatic zones: Trichinella are able to tolerate high and low temperatures well;
  • group outbreaks are common: for example, all family members who ate contaminated meat begin to get sick.

In recent years, Trichinella species have been discovered that do not form capsules, as well as those that, in addition to mammals, parasitize birds.

Trichinosis source

Trichinosis can only be infected by the oral route, that is, by eating food. The larvae of the helminth in question enter the human body when they eat infected animal meat. A particularly great danger in terms of the development of the disease in question is jerked or not fully cooked / fried meat.

There is a certain algorithm for the development of trichinosis in the human body after infection:

  • an hour and a half from the moment of infection:

    during this time, the larva manages to free itself from the capsule, to penetrate into the mucous membrane of the stomach or duodenum. It can penetrate into the connective tissue located above the duodenum;

  • first day: the larva turns into a full-fledged, mature helminth worm. A similar growth of the parasite can occur within two days;
  • the third and fourth days: the female worm becomes sexually mature and already lays eggs. The number of eggs laid is simply frightening - each female helminth lays 100-2000 eggs. During the same period, the larvae can enter the blood vessels, which causes their penetration into the muscle tissue with the blood flow;
  • 42-56 days: during this period of time, an adult, sexually mature female of Trichinella lays larvae;
  • 17-18 days from the moment of laying the eggs by the female worm: the larvae, which got into the muscles along with the blood flow, mature and become infectious;
  • 3-4 weeks from the time of laying the eggs of an adult female worm: Each larva is covered with a capsule. Only after a year does the calcification of the capsules occur.

Trichinella larva in the form of a capsule can persist in the human muscles for years. According to the latest data, this period is 10-40 years!

Symptoms of trichinosis in humans

Trichinosis symptoms appear in 10-20 days. Depending on a number of factors, this period can be reduced or, conversely, increased.

In this case, a rule well known to doctors applies: the more severe the form of the disease, the faster the symptoms of trichinosis appear.

In a particularly malignant course, the first symptoms of trichinosis are observed within 2-3 days after consuming low-quality products, but it is worth noting that in recent years, asymptomatic trichinosis has been increasingly detected in people, the diagnosis of which is a rather difficult task.


This is due to the fact that, firstly, the incubation period increases to 4-5 weeks, and secondly, the disease manifests itself only as mild malaise and minor muscle pains. Accordingly, at first, doctors are trying to treat patients for anything, but not for trichinosis. With a mild course, trichinosis manifests itself as a sharp increase in body temperature, weakness, and headaches.

A few hours after the first symptoms of trichinosis appear, the temperature drops to 37-37.5 degrees and remains at this level for about a week. In addition to a slight fever, patients may feel pain in the calf and lumbar muscles.

The moderate-severe form of the disease also begins with a rise in temperature and fever, but then patients develop other symptoms of trichinosis: puffiness of the face; lacrimation; conjunctivitis; photophobia; allergic reactions.

In about 30% of cases, patients with trichinosis have pathologies from the broncho-pulmonary system: pharyngitis, pneumonia, pleurisy. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact place where trichinosis develops - the symptoms either disappear or appear in completely different organs, since the infiltrates detected during X-ray examination often change their location.


In some cases, trichinosis of moderate severity is accompanied by lesions of the cardiovascular system. Patients are recorded: an increase in the number of heart contractions, metabolic disorders in the heart muscle, deafness of heart sounds, shortness of breath. In children, damage to the immune system, enlargement of lymph nodes and spleen can join the above pathologies.

Of particular danger is severe trichinosis, the treatment of which begins with the relief of acute symptoms. Patients experience very severe muscle pain. Often they are so intense that a person cannot perform the simplest movements.

In addition, high fever also causes significant inconvenience to patients. It reaches 40-41 degrees and lasts for a week. Very quickly, patients develop swelling on the trunk and limbs, which spreads to the internal organs and the central nervous system, leading to disruptions in the work of vital centers.


In severe cases, trichinosis also causes numerous, pronounced allergic reactions. The rash can occur on all parts of the body and tends to combine individual foci into larger formations.

Of the other characteristic symptoms of severe trichinosis, we would like to note: abdominal pain; stool disorders (diarrhea mixed with blood); nausea, vomiting; enlargement of the liver and spleen; sleep disorders; convulsions, delirium; epileptic seizures.

Many of the above lesions can ultimately lead to the death of a person. For this reason, for any suspicion of trichinosis, treatment should begin immediately after the correct diagnosis is made. Of course, self-medication with the help of folk recipes in this case is unacceptable.

The most common causes of death are acute allergic reactions of the myocardium and severe pneumonia accompanied by bronchitis. The most acute symptoms of trichinosis in humans:

  • Strong headache;
  • swelling of the face and eyelids;
  • sleep disorders (insomnia);
  • depressive conditions;
  • myocarditis;
  • vascular thrombosis.

Pathological changes in the patient's body


In the process of growth and development, the larvae secrete various metabolic products that have a toxic and sensitizing effect on the body. Moreover, not only the waste products of helminths, but also the products of decay when they die, have a negative effect. This leads to: general allergization of the body; generalized vascular lesion; violation of hemocoagulation and the functioning of the immune system.

Thus, parasitization of helminths in the intestine leads to its inflammation, penetration into muscles - to myositis, and immunopathological reactions - to damage to various organs and systems. They are especially involved in the pathological process: diaphragm; chewing, facial, intercostal muscles; as well as the muscles of the limbs. Specific granulomas form in the affected organs.

Treatment of trichinosis in humans

Trichinosis is treated by an infectious disease specialist. Sometimes, differential diagnosis requires consultation of a rheumatologist, allergist, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, cardiologist.

Treatment of trichinosis requires constant monitoring of the patient and is carried out strictly in the hospital. Asymptomatic and mild forms can be treated at home with anti - inflammatory, non - hormonal drugs.

Treatment of moderate to severe forms, along with drugs, is carried out in conjunction with antihistamines to weaken allergic rashes. In the case of a severe course of the disease, glucocorticoids are also prescribed in conjunction with drugs and antihistamines.

The main drugs for the treatment of trichinosis include mebendazole (Vermox) and mintezol, albendazole - they have a similar effect on helminths, are applicable for adults, block glucose uptake, disrupting the normal functioning of helminth cells, and have a wide spectrum of action.


They are taken in a full course, about 14 days, depending on the form of the disease and the patient's condition, the earlier the treatment began, the more effective the drugs will be.

The complex of anti-inflammatory drugs consists of Zodak, Claritin, Tsetrin.

Hormonal agents are prednisone, dexamethasone, their advantages in a rapid decrease in the inflammatory process and in reducing the risk of toxic shock.

The prognosis for mild and moderate forms of the disease is favorable. A severe course with damage to internal organs and the development of complications can pose a threat to the life of patients. In this case, the mortality rate reaches 20%.

Trichinosis treatment with folk remedies


Treatment at home is possible when the exacerbation of the disease has already passed; it is also necessary to be observed by the treating doctor. Folk remedies in the treatment of trichinosis are more of an auxiliary cleanser, which generally helps to strengthen the immune system and improve the course of the disease.

To do this, use bowel cleansing with enemas. The basis of the enema, you can take a decoction of the string and wormwood, chamomile, calendula. You can make a decoction from all herbs at once, or alternate. Enemas are best done in the morning.

There are also several preventive recipes from pumpkin seeds:

  • take 100 pumpkin seeds, peel, mix with 20 grams of sugar, crush. Take 3 days, 30 grams in the morning one hour before meals;
  • requires 50 grams of seeds, 10 grams of carrot seeds, 10 grams of sugar - mix everything and bring to a powder state. Take 20 grams, twice a day, one hour before meals, for 5 days;
  • a very effective and preventive measure to strengthen the body will be the use of a prescription viburnum, where you should mix 100 g of viburnum berries and 50 g of honey. Reception - 20 g, three times a day one hour before meals. Duration of treatment is 10 days.

Complications of trichinosis in humans

If trichinosis was severe, or the patient was not provided with timely assistance, then there is a risk of complications:

  • hepatitis: this is an inflammatory process in the liver, in which the immune cells of the organ are involved;
  • pneumapia: inflammation is caused by the accumulation of eosonophils - allergic cells in the lung tissue;
  • pleurisy: develops against the background of pneumonia after trichinosis, the pathology with its symptoms resembles bronchial asthma;
  • myocorditis: inflammation of the heart muscle, which in this particular case has an allergic origin. It is with the development of myocarditis as a complication of trichinosis that patients most often die;
  • nephritis: this is an inflammation of the kidneys, which, with rapid and severe development, can result in renal failure, a person becomes disabled for life, and in some cases he will die;
  • meningoencephalitis: a pathology that has an inflammatory origin and affects the brain and its membranes.

Prevention of trichinosis in humans

Trichinosis prevention measures:

  • thorough cooking of meat from domestic animals, especially pigs. The piece of meat must be heated inside to 74 ° C or more for at least 15 seconds. In this case, the larvae that are in it die. But, if there is already a calcified capsule around the larva, then heating is not able to destroy it. This happens if the animal has been hurt for a long time;
  • freezing is a more effective measure. Larvae in meat can be destroyed by freezing it to –15 ° C for 20 days or –20 ° C for three days;
  • pig care. This recommendation applies to farmers and villagers who breed domestic animals for meat. Pigs should not be allowed to eat dead rats. This is achieved with the help of special measures of deratization - rodent control;
  • careful preparation of the game. Meat of wild animals is more dangerous in terms of infection with trichinosis than domestic meat. Moreover, in bears, seals, badgers, etc., worms parasitize, which differ from those living in pigs. They cannot be destroyed even with very long freezing.

    It is the heat treatment with high temperatures that is of great importance. The discovery of species of Trichinella, which parasitize only on birds, indicates that the meat of wild birds can also be dangerous in terms of infection;

  • fat can be consumed only after heating;
  • It is strictly not recommended to eat smoked and jerky meat, raw bacon, homemade sausages, steak with blood, raw smoked sausage and dumplings / belyashi / cutlets.

Trichinosis is a rather dangerous and common disease. Washing hands and observing hygiene rules will not protect you from infection, so you need to know what kind of meat and in what form you can eat without fear of getting sick.

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