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Fish-borne nematodiases in South America: neglected emerging diseases

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2017

J.C. Eiras
Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Portugal and Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Matosinhos, Portugal
G.C. Pavanelli
Unicesumar, Programa de pós-graduação em Promoção da Saúde, Maringá, Brasil
R.M. Takemoto*
Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Nupelia, Maringá, Brasil
Y. Nawa
Tropical Diseases Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
Author for correspondence: R.M. Takemoto, E-mail:


Fish-borne zoonotic nematodes may infect humans when fish or squid are ingested raw or inadequately cooked. Human infections may have serious consequences, including the unexpected deaths of infected people. This kind of disease is poorly known in general, and the characteristics of such infections in South American countries as a whole have never been assessed. In this paper the present status of fish-borne nematodiases in humans in South American countries is characterized. Potentially zoonotic nematode species are very common in both freshwater and marine fish in South America. Reports of human infections have only been found in some countries, and their incidence (especially with anisakids and Gnathostoma spp.) varies from country to country. Apparently they are more abundant in countries with strong traditions of eating raw fish, and are more frequent on the western coast of South America. So far fish-borne nematodes have been reported in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In recent years, cases of human infection have appeared in probably underestimated numbers. People need to be clearly informed about risky feeding habits, and physicians need to learn more about zoonotic diseases.

Review Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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