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J Food Prot. 2008 Dec;71(12):2578-81.

Allergenic properties and cuticle microstructure of Anisakis simplex L3 after freezing and pepsin digestion.

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Immunology Department, Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.


This article examines the viability of and the alterations to the larval cuticle and the pattern of the antigens released when live or frozen Anisakis simplex larvae were treated with acid and pepsin. The results showed that freezing did not greatly alter the larva body. If ruptures were observed, the antigen release to the incubation media was not enhanced, and most of the antigenic content was retained inside the bodies of the larvae. The immunoblotting assay demonstrated that most of the antigens released, including the allergen Ani s 4, were resistant to pepsin. Freezing killed the larvae, but their survival was not compromised by acid treatment or pepsin digestion when kept chilled. All these findings support recommendations about freezing fish for consumption raw or undercooked to prevent human infection by A. simplex larvae. However, our data show that the antigenicity of the larvae is preserved after freezing and may explain why some sensitized patients develop symptoms after ingestion of infested frozen fish.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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