Trichinellosis is a chronic disease that affects about 11 million people around the world (Table 1.1). The problem extends from Argentina to Zimbabwe and accompanies infection with nematode worms of the genus
. Morbidity results from the activities of the minute adult worms in the intestinal mucosa and the colonization of skeletal muscle by first-stage larvae (L1), also called trichinae (Figure 13.1). Once the worm’s life cycle had been elucidated and the significance of eating contaminated pork and pork products appreciated, the disease was justifiably given major public health significance in Europe in the 19
century. Considerable prevention and control of trichinellosis in many communities of the North has been achieved by the public health interventions of meat inspection, food hygiene, and improved pig husbandry. Nevertheless, outbreaks of trichinellosis continue to occur in the North and elsewhere around the world and the disease must remain as a standing item on the public health agenda. Vigilant public health professionals should always be assigned to the task of surveillance for outbreaks of trichinellosis.