Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration



Fish and Fish Products


Foodborne Disease:
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epticemia - larvae attached to the wall of the digestive tract can cause the penetration into the gut wall and severe pain.

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Larval Eustrongylides spp. is large, bright red roundworm (nemotodes), 25-150 mm long, and 2 mm in diameter. They occur in freshwater fish, brackish water fish and in marine fish.

The larvae normally mature in wading birds such as herons, egrets, and flamingos. If the larvae are consumed in undercooked or raw fish, they can attach to the wall of the digestive tract. In the five cases for which clinical symptoms have been reported, the penetration into the gut wall as accompanied by severe pain.

The nematodes can perforate the gut wall and probably other organs. Removal of the nematodes by surgical resection or fiber optic devices with forceps is possible if the nematodes penetrate accessible areas of the gut. One live larva can cause an infection. The disease - septicemia, which is due to the perforated digestive tract - is extremely rare. Infection by larval  Eustrongylides spp. is widespread and common in numerous species of freshwater fish.

The high rates of infection for minnows (Fundulus spp.) were reported and also from the consumption of sashimi. These large worms may be seen without magnification in the flesh of fish and are normally very active after death of the fish.


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