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Rev Med Chil. 2007 Aug;135(8):1064-71. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

[Aquaculture and public health. The emergence of diphyllobothriasis in Chile and the world].

[Article in Spanish]

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10895, USA.


Recent clinical and epidemiológical information, an analysis of the literature, and study of the technical aspects of Chilean salmon aquaculture indicate that this activity has the ability to expand the range of diphyllobothriasis caused by the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum. Evidence for expansion of the range of the fish tapeworm includes the emergences of clinical cases in Brazil related to consumption of salmon produced in Chile. Expansion of the range of this parasite is also suggested by an increase of its geographical range in Chile, beyond its previously endemic foci in the lakes of Regions IX and X. Prevention of further dissemination of this parasitic disease rests on an improvement of sanitation and sewage disposal around the lakes of Regions IX, X and XI in Chile, improvement in aquaculture methods including curtailing the use of fish tapeworm-contaminated lakes to grow juveniles forms of salmonids and more measures to decrease the number of salmonid escapees from marine pens to prevent their return to rivers and lakes carrying the infestation. Moreover, tracking the origin of juveniles in marketed salmon, determining the presence of plerocercoids in them, and increased education of the public regarding the potential dangers of eating raw fish should also be implemented. Only by stimulating the dialogue between the industry, consumers and state regulators will it be possible to implement appropriate measures to prevent further expansion of this parasitic disease by salmon aquaculture.

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