Anisakid Larvae in the Musculature of the Argentinean Hake, Merluccius hubbsi

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We report the infection levels of third-stage anisakid larva in the muscle of the Argentinean hake, Merluccius hubbsi, in relation to fish size and location in the musculature. The musculature of 42 hake was separated into hypaxial (ventral) and epiaxial (dorsal) parts and surveyed for nematode larvae. Two anisakid species were detected: Anisakis sp. (prevalence, 52.4%; mean ± SD abundance, 1.2 ± 1.7) and Pseudoterranova sp. (prevalence, 9.5%; mean ± SD abundance, 0.2 ± 0.7). Since the fish were gutted after capture, the occurrence of anisakids in the flesh indicates that the worms had migrated into the muscle before capture. The number of Anisakis sp. in muscle was not correlated with fish length or weight. Therefore, fish size cannot be used as a predictor of parasite loads in the muscle. Only one Anisakis sp. and one Pseudoterranova sp. appeared in the epiaxial musculature. The density of Anisakis sp. in the hypaxial muscles was significantly higher than that in the epiaxial ones. This suggests that removal of the hypaxial musculature can reduce the risk of anisakid-induced allergies and gastrointestinal anisakidoses among consumers.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Animal Biology and Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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