Trichinella spiralis infection alters small bowel motor activity in the fed state

Verne E. Cowles, Sushil K. Sarna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The effect of Trichinella spiralis infection on small intestinal transit and motor activity in the fed state during the intestinal phase of infection was studied. Contractions were recorded by strain gauge transducers, and mean transit time was measured by marker dilution technique. The mean amplitude and area of individual phasic contractions decreased, but no change occurred in their mean duration during trichinosis. The total amplitude and area of phasic contractions also decreased; this was caused by a decrease in the frequency of contractions as well as a decrease in the mean parameters. The reduction in the total duration was entirely caused by the decrease in frequency. The reduction in the total parameters of all contractions was the result of a reduction in the same parameters for both propagating and nonpropagating contractions. However, the decrease in the parameters of propagating contractions was much greater. Also, there was a decrease in the distance of propagation of phasic contractions. The transit time as a result of phasic contractions increased during T. spiralis infection. Additionally, T. spiralis infection induced giant migrating contractions in the fed state that were never observed during control. Chyme was propelled very rapidly and effectively by giant migrating contractions. The findings of the present study suggest that during diarrhea induced by T. spiralis infection, the phasic contractions may act to decrease transit and, hence, allow more contact time for absorption of water and nutrients. However, this response may be counter-balanced by giant migrating contractions that rapidly propel chyme into the colon and compound the diarrhea associated with T. spiralis infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-669
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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