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Adv Food Nutr Res. 2018;86:71-113. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2018.04.003. Epub 2018 May 7.

Parasites in Food: From a Neglected Position to an Emerging Issue.

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Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:


Foodborne parasites have long been a neglected group of pathogens, as they often have insidious, chronic effects, rather than being acute diseases, and they are often associated with impoverished or marginalized populations. In addition, due to the long incubation period for most foodborne parasites, source attribution is often difficult, if not impossible. However, global trends have enabled foodborne parasites to emerge in different populations in new locations, transmitted through different food types, and sometimes with unexpected symptoms. This emergence of foodborne parasites has brought them into focus. In this chapter, six foodborne parasites are used as examples on emergence: Echinococcus multilocularis is spreading to new locations; Cryptosporidium spp. are beginning to be associated not only with water, but also with salads; Trypanosoma cruzi is being manifest with acute disease due to foodborne transmission, particularly transmitted with juices; Trichinella spp. have become less of a burden regarding transmission via pork in many countries, but now game animals are becoming a concern; anisakiasis is becoming a global problem as the world develops a taste for sushi, and similarly for opisthorchiasis, which is increasingly being associated with cholangiocarcinoma. However, the emergence of these foodborne parasites provides an incentive for increased efforts being made toward control. In this chapter, having described how the parasites are emerging from their neglected position, the focus turns toward control. In addition to considering control measures that may be applied to the specific parasites, an overview is provided of some of the organized collaborations, projects, and consortia, as well as some of their outputs, that have in focus the control of these emerging and important pathogens.


Anisakidae; Cestodes; Cryptosporidium; Echinococcus multilocularis; Nematodes; Opisthorchis; Parasites; Protozoa; Trematodes; Trichinella; Trypanosoma cruzi

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