Trichinella spp

Johan Lindh and Inger Ljungstr├┤m

Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic nematode and the causative agent of trichinellosis. It has been found in almost all warm-blooded vertebrates and completes its entire lifecycle within the same host. The lifecycle of T. spiralis can be divided into two phases. The first phase which lasts for around one month starts when the parasite enters its host and undergoes three larval stages to form the adult stage in the intestine. The adults then mate, reproduce, and release the newborn larvae into the bloodstream. The second phase, which can be decades long, starts with an active penetration of the skeletal muscle cells and the development of the first larval stage. The nematode induces the muscle cell to undergo dedifferentiation and a parasite/muscle cell complex is formed, a nurse cell.

This chapter will describe the changes that occur during infection, both in the host and in the parasite. Furthermore, the human immune pathology together with the most abundant antigens will also be described.

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