Definition of Trichina spiralis

Trichina spiralis: is a parasitic worm that lives in the intestines and causes a serious illness known as trichinosis. The eggs usually enter the body via raw or undercooked pork, sausage or bear meat. In the intestines, the eggs hatch, mature, and migrate to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. Early symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In time, a high fever, puffiness of the face and muscle pain develop. Eventually the worms can penetrate the muscles, the heart and the brain and can cause death. Treatment with an anti-worm drug such as thiabendazole, as well as bed rest and a physician's care, can cure trichinosis. Recovery may take several months. Diagnosis of trichinosis sometimes requires analysis of a tissue sample (biopsy) taken from muscle.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.