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Anisakiasis is the disease caused by infection with Anisakis worms. It is frequently reported in areas of the world where fish is consumed raw, lightly pickled or salted. The areas of highest prevalence are Scandinavia (from cod livers), Japan (after eating sushi and sashimi), the Netherlands (by eating infected fermented herrings (Maatjes)), and along the Pacific coast of South America (from eating ceviche). Heating to 60 °C, or freezing to below −20 °C is an effective method of killing Anisakis.
Within hours after ingestion of infective larvae, violent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Occasionally the larvae are coughed up. If the larvae pass into the bowel, a severe eosinophilic granulomatous response may also occur 1 to 2 weeks following infection, causing symptoms mimicking Crohn's disease.
Diagnosis can be made by gastroscopic examination during which the 2 cm larvae are visualized and removed, or by histopathologic examination of tissue removed at biopsy or during surgery.
Originally posted by soficrow
I wonder about this too - Why take such drastic action and threaten the tourism industry if it's not essential?
[Study from 1997]
Genetic and ecological data on the Anisakis simplex complex, with evidence for a new species
A number of samples were found to belong to A. simplex sensu stricto and Anisakis pegreffii, widely extending the geographic ranges and the number of hosts of these 2 species. In addition, a new distinct gene pool was detected, showing different alleles with respect to A. simplex s. str and A. pegreffii at 5 diagnostic loci (99% level). Samples with this gene pool were assigned to a new species, provisionally labeled A. simplex C. Reproductive isolation between A. simplex C and the other 2 Anisakis species was directly assessed by the lack of hybrid and recombinant genotypes in mixed samples from sympatric areas, i.e., Pacific Canada for A. simplex C+A. simplex s. str., South Africa and New Zealand for A. simplex C+A. pegreffii, even when such samples were recovered from the same individual host. Similar levels of genetic divergence were observed among the three species (DNei from 0.36 to 0.45). At the intraspecific level, Canadian Pacific and Austral populations of A. simplex C were found to be genetically rather differentiated from one another (average DNei = 0.08), contrasting with the remarkable genetic homogeneity detected within both A. simplex s. str. and A. pegreffii (average DNei about 0.01).
[Study from 2005]
Evidence for a new species of Anisakis Dujardin
In the present study, a new biological species of Anisakis Dujardin, 1845, was detected in Kogia breviceps and K. sima from West Atlantic waters (coast of Florida) on the basis of 19 (nuclear) structural genes studied by multilocus allozyme electrophoresis. Fixed allele differences at 11 enzyme loci were found between specimens of both adults and larvae of the new species and the other Anisakis spp. tested. Reproductive isolation from A. brevispiculata Dollfus, 1968 was demonstrated by the lack of hybrid or recombinant genotypes in mixed infections in K. breviceps. Genetic distance of the new species from its closest relative, A. brevispiculata, was D(Nei)=0.79. The new species is morphologically different from the other species which have been genetically characterised and from the other Anisakis retained by Davey (1971) as valid or as species inquirendae: the name of Anisakis paggiae n. sp. is proposed for the new taxon. Anisakis Type II larvae (sensu Berland, 1961) from the European hake Merluccius merluccius in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean (Galician coast) and from the scabbard fish Aphanopus carbo in Central Atlantic waters (off Madeira), were identified as A. paggiae n. sp. Its genetic relationships with respect to the seven species previously characterised (A. simplex (Rudolphi, 1809) sensu stricto), A. pegreffii Campana-Rouget & Biocca, 1955, A. simplex, (A. typica (Diesing, 1860), A. ziphidarum Paggi et al., 1998, A. physeteris Baylis, 1923 and A. brevispiculata) were also inferred. Overall, a low genetic identity was detected at allozyme level between the eight Anisakis species.
Humans become accidental hosts of the larvae by eating raw, undercooked or pickled fish, resulting in clinical symptoms.3 In a typical reaction, the worm penetrates the intestinal mucosa, and gastro-intestinal symptoms may occur in the first hour but can take up to 6 hours to develop. However, the worm is expelled after about 3 weeks by the immune system. During the time spent in humans, the worm releases a wide range of proteins, somatic and excretory, some of which seem to have immunological similarities to common allergens. Very probably during this period, sensitisation to Anisakis-derived allergens is taking place. The clinical manifestations vary from gastro-intestinal reactions to urticaria, angioedema and life-threatening anaphylactic shock and bronchoconstriction.4 It is not always easy to differentiate between infestation and an allergic reaction.