Taurine drinking attenuates the burden of intestinal adult worms and muscle larvae in mice with Trichinella spiralis infection

Parasitol Res. 2013 Oct;112(10):3457-63. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3525-x. Epub 2013 Jul 7.


The parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis can cause trichinellosis, which leads to pathological processes in the intestine and muscle. The intestinal invasion determines the development, subsequent course, and consequences of the disease. Gastrointestinal nematode infection, including with T. spiralis, is accompanied by a rapid and reversible expansion of mucosal mast cell and goblet cell in the intestinal epithelium, which play important roles in the host immune response to parasite and worm expulsion from the intestine. Taurine and its derivatives have anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties. We investigated whether taurine supplementation in mice could influence the development and pathological processes of infection with T. spiralis. Supplementing 1% taurine in drinking water in mice infected with T. spiralis could alleviate the burden of intestinal adult worms on days 7 and 10 postinfection (all p < 0.01) and the formation of infective muscle larvae in striated muscle during T. spiralis infection (p < 0.01). As compared with T. spiralis infection alone, taurine treatment increased the number of goblet cells on days 7, 10, and 15 (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05) and alleviated intestinal mucosal mast cell hyperplasia on days 10 and 15 (all p < 0.01). So taurine supplementation in drinking water increased infection-induced intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia and ameliorated mucosal mastocytosis. Thus, taurine can ameliorate the pathological processes of trichinellosis and may be of great value for the treatment and prevention of infection with T. spiralis and other gastrointestinal nematodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drinking Water / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / drug therapy*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Mast Cells / cytology
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Mastocytosis / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Muscle, Skeletal / parasitology
  • Taurine / administration & dosage
  • Taurine / chemistry
  • Taurine / pharmacology*
  • Trichinella spiralis
  • Trichinellosis / drug therapy*
  • Trichinellosis / parasitology


  • Drinking Water
  • Taurine