trichina(redirected from trichinous)
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(Trichinella spiralis), a parasitic roundworm of the family Trichinellidae. Adult males measure 1.2–1.6 mm in length, and females measure as much as 4.5 mm. The worms usually live in the intestines of predatory or omnivorous mammals and human beings; they cause trichinosis. Fertilized females penetrate the intestinal wall of the host and hatch tiny viable larvae measuring 0.09–0.1 mm in length and 0.006 mm in width. The larvae are carried by lymph and blood through the host’s body and migrate from the capillaries to striated muscles. There they grow and after two or three weeks become encysted as a result of the protective reaction of the host, remaining viable for a year or more. To continue their development, trichinae must reach the intestine of another mammal.This happens when the flesh of an infested animal is consumed. A human being may become infected by eating pork or the insufficiently roasted or boiled meat of other animals. Encysted larvae develop into adult worms in the intestine.