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Volume 27, Number 12—December 2021
Etymologia

Trichinella spiralis

Monika MahajanComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

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Trichinella spiralis [tri·kuh·neh′·luh spr·a′·luhs]

Figure 1

Sir James Paget (January 11, 1814–December 30, 1899), English surgeon and pathologist who observed a spiral encysted nematode in a cadaver. Source: https://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101425853.

Figure 1. Sir James Paget (January 11, 1814–December 30, 1899), English surgeon and pathologist who observed a spiral encysted nematode in a cadaver. Source: https://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101425853.

Figure 2

Sir Richard Owen (July 20, 1804–December 18, 1892), English biologist, comparative anatomist, and paleontologist who did not share the credit of discovery of Trichina spiralis with Paget. Source: https://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101424684.

Figure 2. Sir Richard Owen (July 20, 1804–December 18, 1892), English biologist, comparative anatomist, and paleontologist who did not share the credit of discovery of Trichina spiralis with Paget. Source: ...

Figure 3

Photomicrograph of an intestinal mucosa tissue specimen showing a Trichinella spiralis parasitic nematode, which had burrowed itself into the columnar epithelial intestinal lining, in a case of trichinosis. Source: CDC/Dr. Robert Kaiser (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=14931).

Figure 3. Photomicrograph of an intestinal mucosa tissue specimen showing a Trichinella spiralis parasitic nematode, which had burrowed itself into the columnar epithelial intestinal lining, in a case of trichinosis. Source: CDC/Dr....

Trichinella is derived from the Greek words trichos (hair) and ella (diminutive); spiralis means spiral. In 1835, Richard Owen (1804–1892) (Figure 1) and James Paget (1814–1899) (Figure 2) described a spiral worm (Trichina spiralis)‒lined sandy diaphragm of a cadaver. In 1895, Alcide Raillet (1852–1930) renamed it as Trichinella spiralis because Trichina was attributed to an insect in 1830. In 1859, Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902) described the life cycle. The genus includes many distinct species, several genotypes, and encapsulated and nonencapsulated clades based on the presence/absence of a collagen capsule (Figure 3).

Figure 4

Photomicrograph showing a Trichinella spiralis cyst that was embedded in a muscle tissue specimen, in a case of trichinellosis acquired by ingesting meat containing cysts (encysted larvae) of Trichinella sp. Source: CDC/Dr. Irving Kagan (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=10180).

Figure 4. Photomicrograph showing a Trichinella spiralis cyst that was embedded in a muscle tissue specimen, in a case of trichinellosis acquired by ingesting meat containing cysts (encysted larvae) of Trichinella sp....

The smallest, viviparous nematode or pig parasite has sylvatic and domestic cycles and causes trichinellosis or trichinosis. Transmission occurs through the consumption of meat infected with pathogenic cysts, encasing larvae (Figure 4). Human-to-human transmission has not been reported.

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References

  1. Campbell  WC. History of trichinosis: Paget, Owends and the discovery of Trichinella spiralis. Bull Hist Med. 1979;53:52052.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trichinellosis: general information [cited 2021 May 11]. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/gen_info/faqs.html
  3. Gottstein  B, Pozio  E, Nöckler  K. Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and control of trichinellosis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2009;22:12745. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Observations on. Trichina spiralis. Boston Med Surg J. 1860;63:2948. DOIGoogle Scholar
  5. Zarlenga  D, Thompson  P, Pozio  E. Trichinella species and genotypes. Res Vet Sci. 2020;133:28996. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2712.211230

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Table of Contents – Volume 27, Number 12—December 2021

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Monika Mahajan, Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Research Block A, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India

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Page created: October 14, 2021
Page updated: November 19, 2021
Page reviewed: November 19, 2021
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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