Skip to main content

PCR-Derived Methods for the Identification of Trichinella Parasites from Animal and Human Samples

  • Protocol

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB,volume 216)


Trichinella worms (family: Trichinellidae; phylum: Nematoda) are parasites that mainly infect mammals, including humans, although they have been found in birds and, recently, in African crocodiles (1,2). The main reservoir is represented by carnivores with cannibalistic and scavenger behavior. These parasites are widespread on all continents but Antarctica, from frigid to torrid zones. The main distinguishing feature of their life cycle is that two generations occur in the same host. The first generation (from L1 larva to adult) is present in the gut and the second generation (from a newborn larva of 80 μm in length to an infective larva of 0.6-1.0 mm in length) is present in the cell of striated muscles that is modified by the larva (referred to as the nurse cell) (3,4).


  • Nurse Cell
  • Dissection Microscope
  • Digestion Fluid
  • Single Larva
  • Conical Vial

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   49.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   74.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions

Springer Nature is developing a new tool to find and evaluate Protocols. Learn more


  1. Murrell, K.D., Lichtenfels, R.J., Zarlenga, D.S., and Pozio, E. (2000) The system-atics of Trichinella with a key to species. Vet. Parasitol. 93, 293–307.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Pozio, E. (2001) New patterns of Trichinella infections. Vet. Parasitol. 98, 133–148.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Despommier, D.D. (1998) How does Trichinella spiralis make itself at home? Parasitol. Today 14, 318–323.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Ljungström, I., Murrell, D., Pozio, E., and Wakelin, D. ( 1998) Trichinellosis, in Zoonoses. Biology, Clinical Practice, and Public Health Control (Palmer, S.R., Lord Soulsby, and Simpson, D.I.H., ), Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 789–802.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Pozio, E. (1998) Trichinellosis in the European Union: Epidemiology, ecology and economic impact. Parasitol. Today 14, 35–38.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Pozio, E., Casulli, A., Bologov, V.V., Marucci, G., and La Rosa, G. (2002). Hunting practices increase the prevalence of Trichinella infection in wolves from European Russia. J. Parasitol. 87, 1498–1501.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Pozio, E., Sacchini, D., Sacchi, L., Tamburrini, A., and Alberici, F. (2001). Failure of mebendazole in the treatment of humans with Trichinella spiralis infection at the stage of encapsulating larvae. Clin. Infect. Dis. 32, 638–642.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Pozio, E. (2000). Factors affecting the flow among domestic, synanthropic and sylvatic cycles of Trichinella. Vet. Parasitol. 93, 241–262.

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Zarlenga, D.S., Chute, M.B., Martin, A., and Kapel, C. M. O. (1999) A single multiplex PCR for unequivocal differentiation of six distinct genotypes of Trichinella and three geographical genotypes of Trichinella pseudospiralis. Int. J. Parasitol. 29, 1859–1867.

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Pozio, E., Owen, I.L., La Rosa, G., Sacchi, L., Rossi, P., and Corona, S. (1999) Trichinellapapuae n. sp. (Nematoda), a new non-encapsulated species from domestic and sylvatic swine of Papua New Guinea. Int. J. Parasitol. 29, 1825–1839.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Wu, Z., Nagano, I., Pozio, E., and Takahashi, Y. (1999) Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) for the identification of Trichinella isolates. Parasitology 118, 211–218.

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Pozio, E., La Rosa, G., and Rossi, P. (1989) Trichinella reference centre. Parasitol. Today 5, 169–170.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2003 Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

About this protocol

Cite this protocol

Pozio, E., La Rosa, G. (2003). PCR-Derived Methods for the Identification of Trichinella Parasites from Animal and Human Samples. In: Sachse, K., Frey, J. (eds) PCR Detection of Microbial Pathogens. Methods in Molecular Biology™, vol 216. Humana Press.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Humana Press

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-58829-049-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-59259-344-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Protocols