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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


FALLA-ZUNIGA, Luis Felipe; CASTELLANOS-GARZON, Jenniffer Alejandra; SALAZAR, Liliana  and  PUSTOVRH, María Carolina. Anisakis and anisakidosis: hosts and case reports in South America. Systematic review. [online]. 2021, vol.69, n.2, e300.  Epub July 13, 2021. ISSN 0120-0011.


Anisakidosis is a disease caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood parasitized by nematode larvae of the family Anisakidae. Even though it is a public health issue in Europe and Asia, it is relatively unknown in South America.


To present case reports on anisakidosis and the intermediate hosts of Anisakis reported in South America.

Materials and methods:

A systematic review was conducted in Medline, Cochrane, Embase, LILACS and Scopus using a structured search of MeSH and DeCS descriptors. The search strategy included publication period: inception of each database-September 2018; languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese; and study types: case reports and observational cross-sectional studies. The review was complemented with an unstructured search in SciELO and Google Scholar.


The initial search yielded 172 articles. After removing duplicates and reviewing the inclusion criteria, 69 studies were selected for full analysis: 19 case reports and 50 host records. The most reported form of anisakidosis was gastrointestinal anisakidosis with 45 cases; this infectious disease was caused by a single larva in 41 people (91.1%). Reports of 95 species of fish for human consumption parasitized by larvae of the genera Anisakis, Contracaecum, Pseudoterranova and Hysterothylacium were identified in Argentina (22 fish species), Brazil (34 species), Chile (15 species), Colombia (17 species), Ecuador (8 species), Peru (7 species), Uruguay and Venezuela (2 species each).


Anisakidosis is a latent risk in South America, so it is necessary to establish effective regulations for efficiently controlling the appearance of this parasitic disease in the region. Furthermore, the general population should receive more information about the precautions regarding saltwater fish consumption.

Keywords : Anisakis; Anisakiasis; South America; Zoonoses; Communicable Diseases, Emerging (MeSH).

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