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Trichinella, hyena and humans

William Reeder wmr-60 at ix.netcom.com
Fri Mar 31 02:15:31 EST 2000

James Mahaffy wrote:
> Folks,
> In preparing for a lecture in Zoology, I mentioned that there was an
> Torrid or tropical Trichinella that is found in the hyena and some other
> carnivores in Africa. I got this information from the latest edition of
> Schmidt and Roberts who on their illustration cite ingestion by humans
> as a possible means of infection.
> However, I grew up in Africa (Eritrea) and never heard of hyena's being
> eaten.  Can anyone tell me more about this life cycle and how it can be
> transmitted to human.  About the only place I found some mention of this
> (T8) strain was in a couple of medline articles. From one of those it
> appeared that humans are not often infected and another indicated (all I
> read was abstracts) that native livestock did not carry it (as I
> recall).
> Don't do much work, this is only to respond to my class - but if you
> know a bit more about the life cycle of the Trichinella that is found in
> hyenas and how if gets into humans I would appreciate any response.
> I will pass your responses on to my Zoology class unless you object.
> Thanks.
> --
> James and Florence Mahaffy    712 722-0381 (Home)
> 227 S. Main St.              712 722-6279 (Office)
> Sioux Center, IA 51250
> ---

Trichinella has been reported in the following African Animals:
Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
Lion (Leo leo)
Serval cat (Felis serval)
Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)
Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)
Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris)
Stiped Jackel (Canis adustus)
Black backed Jackel (Canis Mesomelas)
Bush Pig (Potamocherus porcus)
Wart Hog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)
Multimammate Rat (Praomys natalensis)

Human outbreaks include:
Dakar 1966  - 9 cases from eating warthog
Mt Kenya 1959 - 11 cases (1 fatality) from eating bush pig
Mbulu, Tanzania 1977 - 11 cases (2 fatalities) from eating warthog
Kajiado, Kenya 1972 - "family outbreak" from eating "roasted pig"

It would seem from the reported outbreaks that human trichinosis in 
Africa is due to eating bush pig or warthog.

Reference: Campbell WC. Trichinella and Trichinosis. 1983. Plenum Press, 
New York.

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