Trichinosis is an infection caused by a roundworm known as Trichinella spiralis.
What is going on in the body?
The Trichinella spiralis roundworm is found in almost every meat-eating mammal. People usually become infected when they eat poorly cooked or raw meat, especially pork. The larvae of the worm are found in cysts, or small capsules, in the meat. The individual's stomach juices dissolve the cyst and free the larvae. The larvae grow and mate in the person's bowels. The female worms produce more larvae, which go from the bowels into the person's blood. The larvae can go from the blood vessels into the muscles and form new cysts.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
Trichinosis is caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. Eating raw or inadequately cooked meat increases the risk of acquiring trichinosis.