Parasites In Red Fish - Are There Worms That Are Dangerous To Humans, Is It Possible To Get Infected

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Parasites In Red Fish - Are There Worms That Are Dangerous To Humans, Is It Possible To Get Infected
Parasites In Red Fish - Are There Worms That Are Dangerous To Humans, Is It Possible To Get Infected

Video: Parasites In Red Fish - Are There Worms That Are Dangerous To Humans, Is It Possible To Get Infected

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Video: Most Painful Parasites That Infect Humans 2023, February

Red fish is a nutritious food that is considered an excellent addition to the main human diet. Recently, the general trend is a minimalist approach in the methods of preparing fish dishes. This really makes sense, because from the point of view of nutritional value and benefits for the body, meat that has not been thermally processed for a long time, has not been salted with large amounts of salt or has not been doused with smoke in a smokehouse for a long time retains more vitamins and amino acids. But before completely surrendering to fashionable trends in cooking, you should ask yourself the question: are there parasites in red fish and are they dangerous to humans?


  • 1 Risk of infection
  • 2 What diseases provoke

    • 2.1 Diphyllobothriasis
    • 2.2 Nanofietosis
    • 2.3 Anisakidosis
    • 2.4 Metagonimosis
    • 2.5 How to avoid

Risk of infection

Almost every adult fish contains parasites. They inhabit muscle tissues, organs of the digestive system, eyes, are found on the skin, in the brain structures, etc. These can be sexually mature individuals or eggs.

Parasitologists are interested in all parasites equally, but it is important to know that not all types of helminths living in red fish are dangerous for human health. From this point of view, two main types of parasites can be distinguished that inhabit the organism of sturgeon and salmon:

  • Parasites for which a person is an intermediate or final host. It is they who, after entering the body, settle in it and continue to function, develop and multiply.
  • Parasites that live in red fish, but do not parasitize in humans. Even if you eat trout, salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon and other types of red fish, such organisms will not remain in the internal organs. After digestion of food masses, they are excreted from the intestines along with feces.

What diseases provoke

Most of the parasitic diseases that a person can contract from red fish are caused by the activity of worms or helminths. The main ones are described below.


The causative agent is a wide tapeworm. This tapeworm is dangerous to a variety of mammals, including humans. The size of a mature individual can reach 15 m, and in width - up to 1.5 cm. Only cysts concentrated in muscle tissues or in eggs have the ability to invade. They are not hard to see, as they resemble rounded rice grains up to 0.6 cm in length.

The main symptoms of diphyllobothriasis:

  • digestive disorders - constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea;
  • allergic skin manifestations;
  • weight loss and decreased appetite;
  • weakness, decreased performance, increased fatigue;
  • dizziness;
  • anemia and pathological pallor of the skin of the face.

From the moment the red fish is consumed until the appearance of pronounced signs of the disease, it takes about three months: during this time, the cyst opens, the larva emerges from it and turns into an adult. In the human body, only 1 adult worm lives, the life expectancy of which is 13-15 years.


Another disease that is at risk from under-processed red fish is nanofietosis. The causative agent is salmon flukes, but they are too small to be seen with the naked eye. The body length of adults is only 0.5 mm. The integument of the body is yellowish or grayish in color.

When infected with salmon fluke, the following symptoms occur:

  • nausea and frequent vomiting;
  • problems with bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation);
  • sharp changes in appetite, both in the direction of strengthening and weakening;
  • change in weight;
  • enlarged liver;
  • pain in the right hypochondrium.

Sometimes multiple infestations with salmon flukes are possible, which greatly affects the symptoms. The picture can be aggravated by severe intoxication and neurological disorders.


When lightly frozen, red fish may contain anisakids, which are human nematodes. The larvae of these parasites are found in all organs of marine life, but most of them are found in the liver, intestines and gills. Anisakids are also found in red and black caviar.

In these helminths, the body is shaped like a spindle wrapped in a spiral. The outer covers are white or cream colored. In size, adults grow up to 5 cm. A person is an intermediate host for these worms, but during their stay in the body, the stomach can be seriously affected. The larvae also damage the intestinal mucous membranes.

Anisakids are capable of causing severe symptoms:

  • digestive disorders;
  • pain in the stomach;
  • skin manifestations of allergies;
  • dry cough.

Multiple infection leads to severe intoxication with an increase in temperature to 39 ° C. In severe cases, obstruction of the digestive tract develops, which ultimately leads to peritonitis. If the patient is not given urgent medical attention, he may die.


The disease of metagonimiasis occurs after the ingestion of special trematodes living in carp and red fish into the human body. The parasites are very small - 2.5 mm long and 0.7 mm wide. They can be found under scales, in muscles and in the fat layer.

Symptoms of metagonimosis are:

  • disorders of the digestive system;
  • skin manifestations of allergies;
  • violations of the blood formula in the form of eosinophilia and anemia.

Lack of treatment can provoke ulcerative lesions of the intestinal walls, internal bleeding and peritonitis.

How to avoid

To prevent infection with parasites, you must adhere to simple rules:

  • It is preferable to use red fish grown artificially in fish farms. With artificial feed, the risk of infection is much lower.
  • You need to buy red fish and caviar in those places where the products undergo preliminary sanitary inspection. Do not hesitate to ask for a veterinary inspection certificate, which the seller must have.
  • Freshly caught fish should be frozen immediately. Freezing is carried out prior to eating, and the processing time depends on the temperature and should not be shortened.

Eating red fish or caviar raw is a sure way to parasitic infections. To prevent this from happening, the product must first be disinfected:

  • freeze for 48 hours at a temperature of -20 ° C;
  • freeze for 15 hours at a temperature of -27 ° C;
  • freeze for 4 weeks at a temperature of -4 ° C;
  • frying at a temperature of 180-200 ° C in a closed container or in an oven.

Read also:

  • Is it possible to eat fish if there are worms in it, and how they look
  • Is there opisthorchiasis in pike, is the fish sick with parasites
  • What parasites in sea and river fish are dangerous to humans

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