Cestode infections Diphyllobothriasis

High prevalence rates have been recorded in small northern and native communities in which the consumption of raw and partially cooked fish is common (Freeman and Jamieson 1976). In recent years, the growing popularity of sushi and sashimi has resulted in increased reports of diphyllobothriasis at more southern latitudes (Ruttenber et al. 1984). At least six species of Diphyllobothrium capable of infecting humans are thought to exist in this region (D. latum, D. dendriticum, D. ursi, D. lanceolatum, D. dalliae, and D. alascense) although the precise taxonomic classification of some of these species is a matter of debate (Schantz 1996). Diphyllobothriasis (D. dendriticum) is particularly common in native populations across the Arctic, reaching prevalence rates of 80% in some communities. Unlike the historical reports from Scandinavia, diphyllobothriasis has not been associated with vitamin B12

deficiency in Canada or Alaska. However, the long-term health impact of human diphyllobothriasis is largely unstudied despite the high prevalence of this parasite in some populations.

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