Parasites of zoonotic interest in selected edible freshwater fish imported to Australia

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Australia imports a significant amount of edible freshwater fish. The safety of the imported product is therefore of great importance. Previous research has shown that certain types of edible freshwater fish imported into Australia are not compliant with Australian importation guidelines and additionally are contaminated with many species of parasites, some of which may cause illness in humans if consumed. The present study, to the best of authors knowledge, is the first to publish the occurrence of zoonotic parasites in edible fish imported into Australia. Eustrongylides sp. Jägerskiöld, 1909 (P. 15.5%), family Dioctophymidae; Euclinostomum sp. Travassos, 1928 (P. 4.8%), family Clinostomidae, were recovered from imported edible and consumer ready Channidae fish and Isoparorchis sp. Southwell, 1913 (P. 11%), family Isoparorchiidae, from imported edible Bagridae fish. Euclinostomum sp. and Isoparorchis sp. were identified using morphological method. Molecular identification of Eustrongylides sp. was achieved through sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequence. Eustrongylides sp. and Isoparorchis sp. have been identified as the causative agent in cases of human infection and are a recognised zoonosis. Euclinostomum sp. is considered to have zoonotic potential and for this reason this species has been included in the importation risk assessments for freshwater fish from certain countries. This study confirmed the presence of zoonotic parasite species in edible imported fish. Whilst this fish product was frozen and parasites therefore inactivated, both fish species according to importation commodity codes, at the time this manuscript was written, are permitted entry into Australia chilled. Further study using a greater sample size is required to understand the human health risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00138
Number of pages15
JournalFood and Waterborne Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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