Intended for healthcare professionals


Rash after consumption of game meat

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 10 March 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n508
  1. Yuka Maya, junior doctor1,
  2. Yasuyuki Fujita, consultant in dermatology 1,
  3. Fumihiro Kodama, consultant in infectious disease 2,
  4. Satoko Shimizu, consultant in dermatology1
  1. 1Department of Dermatology, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Sapporo City General Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to: Y Fujita yfujita{at}

This is a disseminated maculopapular rash due to trichinellosis in a woman in her 50s, secondary to eating undercooked meat (fig 1). She presented at the dermatology department with a 10 day history of pyrexia, eosinophilia, malaise, and abdominal and muscle pain. Two weeks before the onset of symptoms she had eaten an assortment of bear, lamb, and deer meat at a restaurant. Blood test and serology results were positive for antibodies to Trichinella spiralis.

T spiralis is a nematode parasite that causes trichinellosis. Eating raw or undercooked infected meat from pigs, horse, boar, or deer typically causes gastrointestinal symptoms. Cutaneous manifestations are rare. T spiralis is particularly resistant to freezing and will only be destroyed if meat is well cooked.

Consider asking about consumption of game meat and request serological tests for trichinellosis when a patient has prolonged eosinophilia with muscle pain and abdominal symptoms, with or without a maculopapular rash.


We thank Isao Nagano (Department of Parasitology and Infectious Diseases, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan), Hiromu Sugiyama, and Yasuyuki Morishima (Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan) for diagnostic support.


  • Competing interests. None declared.

  • Patient consent obtained.