Anisakis spp

Bjorn Berland

The nematodes Anisakis simplex, 'herring-worm' or 'whale-worm', and Pseudoterranova decipiens, 'cod-worm' or 'seal-worm', require marine mammals, whales and seals, as definitive hosts, while many marine fishes serve as intermediate or transport hosts for their third stage larvae. In abnormal hosts, such as man, live larvae ingested with raw fish bore into the gut wall, causing nausea and gastric or abdominal pains. This human affliction, anisakidosis/ anisakiasis, is common in countries, such as Japan, where raw fish is consumed. Anisakis simplex larvae may cause serious allergy. The biology, morphology, and nomenclature of these worms, and clinical features, diagnosis and prevention of the affliction are reviewed.

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