Abstract

This is the first report of an epidemic of human infection with Trichinella pseudospiralis. An outbreak of trichinellosis affecting 59 individuals, of whom one died, occurred in southern Thailand during 1994–1995. The source of this epidemic was raw pork from a wild pig that was distributed to villagers by a local hunter. The most striking clinical features among 50 individuals who could be followed were muscular swelling, myalgia, and asthenia persisting for >4 months. These were associated with significant elevations of creatine phosphokinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels. All patients had Trichinella-specific IgG antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Muscle biopsies, performed in six cases, showed nonencapsulated, actively migrating Trichinella larvae. Experimental infection of mice with larvae from human biopsies revealed nonencapsulated muscle larvae consistent with T. pseudospiralis. The identification of muscle larvae from a human specimen by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis confirmed the causative agent to be T. pseudospiralis. Patients seemed to respond best to treatment with albendazole.

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