Trichinella spiralis

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • this is the commonest parasitic infection of muscle
  • the pathogen is nematode called Trichinella spiralis
  • infection is usually from undercooked pork or horse meat
  • larvae penetrate the small intestine and spread systemically
  • there is myalgia, tenderness and often weakness
  • periorbital and conjunctival oedema are common; subconjunctival haemorrhages may occur
  • there may be a skin rash and splinter haemorrhages
  • a blood count may show an eosinophilia and a muscle biopsy demonstrates parasites in various stages of development