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Anisakiasis is a parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract caused by the roundworm species Anisakis simplex.



Humans can be exposed to A. simplex through consuming raw or undercooked fish and seafood containing the worms’ larvae.


Symptoms and diagnosis

Within hours of ingesting the larvae, symptoms of anisakiasis will appear. These include:

·         Severe abdominal pain;

·         Nausea and vomiting; and

·         Coughing up of larvae.

Diagnosis involves inserting a lens system on the end of a narrow tube down the oesophagus, through which a doctor can examine the gastrointestinal tract for larvae.

Alternatively, a sample of tissue removed from the tract and examined under a microscope can also be used to detect larvae and diagnose anisakiasis.



Anisakis larvae are unable to survive in humans. In many cases, therefore, the infection will subside on its own, with treatment aimed only at alleviating the symptoms.

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