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A Survey of Anisakis and Pseudoterranova in Scottish Fisheries and the Efficacy of Current Detection Methods

Institutions
University of Aberdeen
Fisheries Research Service
University of Stirling
Start date
2005
End date
2007
Objective
A sampling programme will be conducted for the targeted fish species. This will involve the employment of specific research vessel catch effort, liaising with trawlers targeting relevant fisheries/species, and with fisheries officers and landing ports/markets.

Nematodes from captured fish will be removed, quantified and identified. Data will be recorded relating to species, site, date and method of host capture. The age, length, weight, sex and gut contents of fish will also be recorded. Finally, the species, stage, size and distribution of nematodes within each fish carcass will be examined.

Data (including comparisons between data from the proposed project and that from comparable historical data sets) will be assessed using univariate and multivariate statistical methods, in order to examine factors affecting infection variability at a range of scales (e.g. temporal, spatial, intra-population and carcass).

More information
Anisakiasis, a potentially fatal condition associated with people accidentally swallowing nematodes in infected fish or squid, affects over 2,000 people globally each year. The incidence of infection is increasing with the growing trend in consumption of raw or uncooked seafood.

Europe accounts for 3.5% of these cases, with most observed in Holland, Germany and France. This has led to concerns about anisakids in fish, and rejections of fish consignments within the EU.

The widespread occurrence in fish and squid of nematodes pathogenic to humans therefore carries implications for food quality and safety. Most anisakiasis is associated with the nematode Anisakis simplex with the remainder mainly with the related Pseudoterranova decipiens.

This project is concerned with surveying the prevalence and intensity of infection with these nematodes in targeted Scottish white fish populations and investigating the efficacy of current processing and detection methods in terms of reducing risks to the consumer.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
S14008
Categories
Parasites
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Seafood