Water

Trichuriasis – An Overview

Trichuriasis

is an water-borne infection which is primarily caused by the parasite,

Trichinella spiralis

or species related to Trichinella. The symptoms of the parasitic infection include primary GI irritation which is subsequently followed by eosinophilia, fever, muscle pain and periorbital edema. The diagnosis of this diesease is clinical and is done with specific serological tests. One of the diagnostic test is muscle biopsy. Although, it is very rarely done. Trichuriasis is mainly treated with albendazole or mebendazole. If the symptoms are very severe, then it is treated with prednisone. Read on to know more about trichuriasis.

Trichuriasis is prevalent all over the world. Apart from the main causative agent, Trichinella spiralis, there are several other species which may cause the parasitic infection depending on the various geographic locations. These species include T. Britovi, T. Nelsoni, T. Nativa and T. Pseudospiralis.

Pathophysiology of Trichuriasis

The parasite survives in animals that eat (boars, foxes, bears) or are fed (horses, pigs) other animals who contain infective, encysted larvae in their striated muscles. The humans become susceptible to this parasitic infection when they eat either processed, undercooked or raw meat from these infected animals such as wild boar or pigs.

The larvae excyst in the humans small bowel and penetrate the mucosa. These turn into adults in 6-8 days. The males are 1.2 mm long and the female are 2.2 mm long. The mature female releases living larvae for nearly 4-6 weeks. Then, the female are either expelled or die. The newborn larvae move through the bloodstream and reaches the striated skeletal muscles.

History

An Italian scientist, Morgani made the first record about the parasite, Trichuris Trichiura in 1740. he identified the parasite’s presence in a case where worms where residing in the colon of the patient. A German physicist, Roedere made the actual morphological description in 1761. The taxonomy was given in the 18th century.

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