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Clin Microbiol Rev. 1989 Jul;2(3):278-84.


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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Anisakiasis is a zoonotic disease caused by the ingestion of larval nematodes in raw seafood dishes such as sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and pickled herring. Symptoms of anisakiasis include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Because symptoms are vague, this disease is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis, acute abdomen, stomach ulcers, or ileitis. Endoscopic examination with biopsy forceps has facilitated the diagnosis of gastric anisakiasis. Worms can be removed and identified, and a definitive diagnosis can be made. Patients generally recover with no further evidence of disease. Worms can become invasive, however, and migrate beyond the stomach, penetrating the intestine, omentum, liver, pancreas, and probably the lungs. Surgery is often necessary for treatment of invasive anisakiasis. With the increase in popularity of eating lightly cooked or raw fish dishes, the number of cases of anisakiasis may be expected to increase.

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