Acute trichinellosis in children compared with adults.Pediatr Infect Dis J 2005; 24(10):897-900PI
Trichinellosis is a cosmopolitan parasite infection caused by Trichinella nematodes that is acquired from consumption of raw meat from several animal species. Knowledge of the clinical pattern and laboratory features of the disease in childhood is limited. The purpose is to study the clinical pattern of trichinellosis caused by Trichinella britovi in children and to compare it in household adults.
We evaluated all children up to 17 years of age and their adult householders exposed to the consumption of infected meat during an outbreak of trichinellosis. A questionnaire was developed to record clinical data. The blood sample was collected for blood count, muscle enzymes, serum electrolytes, albumin and serology. All exposed children were treated with mebendazole, and severe symptomatic patients received prednisolone. Clinical and laboratory presentations and outcome were recorded. To evaluate the clinical picture of trichinellosis in childhood, clinical and laboratory findings were compared between children and household adults with a confirmed diagnosis who consumed the same amount of infected meat.
In 47 (62%) of 76 children with suspected trichinellosis, the diagnosis was serologically confirmed. The main clinical and laboratory findings in children were fever, abdominal pain, myalgia, facial and/or eyelid edema, rash, eosinophilia and increased muscular enzymes. The incubation period was similar in children and adults, but myalgia (66% versus 96%, P < 0.01), facial and/or eyelid edema (57% versus 86%, P < 0.05), eosinophilia (52% versus 96%, P < 0.01) and increased serum creatine kinase (38% versus 79%, P < 0.01) were less common in children than in adults. Seroconversion occurred in fewer children than adults, but the difference was not statistically significant.
T. britovi infection shows a benign course and a milder clinical picture in children than in adults who consumed the same amount of infected meat.