Author: Prof Joop Boomker

Infections of the musculature

In wildlife Trichinella spiralis has the sylvatic cycle which involves lion, spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal, multi-mammate mouse, warthog and Africa civet. South of the Sahara and especially in East Africa, Trichinella nelsoni appears to be the more important one in wildlife. Experimental infections of domestic pigs with T. nelsoni and T. spiralis from meat of wild animals in the KNPhave indicated that the nematode can adapt, and may thus become an important zoonosis in future (Young & Kruger, 1967).

Trichinellosis is largely asymptomatic in wildlife and man is the main sufferer. Adult worms in the intestine of humans cause nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, and when the larvae enter the muscles, oedema of the eyelids and face occurs, and respiratory distress is sometimes seen.

Taenia spp. metacestodes are sometimes seen, depending on how much contact there is with humans and their dogs, or wild carnivores. In large game reserves, the incidence and prevalence of muscle cysticercosis is low. Cysticerci of Taenia solium, Taenia hydatigena, Taenia crocutae, Taenia hyaenae and Taenia regis have been recorded (Round, 1968; Boomker et al., 1991). As is the case with cysticerci in domestic animals, little pathology is caused.