Relevance With the increasing popularity and availability of sushi in restaurants and grocery stores, one might expect to see an increase in the number of cases of diphyllobothriasis such as this one. Conclusion Given the current popularity of sushi and sashimi in North America, and the rarity of case reports of diphyllobothriasis in North American literature, one might speculate that there is generally good compliance with proper freezing of fish for these products. Diphyllobothriasis infections are often asymptomatic and can persist for years. Check for vitamin B12 deficiency in suspected and proven cases.
Footnotes This article has been peer reviewed. Competing interests None declared. References 1. Infections related to the ingestion of seafood. Part II: parasitic infections and food safety. Lancet Infect Dis. Helminthic infections. In: Dale DC, editor.
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Clin Microbiol Rev. Diphyllobothriasis nihonkaiense: possibly acquired in Switzerland from imported Pacific salmon. Intern Med.
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Epub Jul Diphyllobothrium latum infection after eating domestic salmon flesh. Korean J Parasitol. Diphyllobothriasis associated with eating raw Pacific salmon. Emerg Infect Dis. The first confirmed case of Diphyllobothrium latum in Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. Epub Nov 8. Diphyllobothrium latum in a non-endemic country: case report. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. Larsh JE. Helminths and helminthic infections. Zinsser microbiology.
The effect of swai fish farms on the ecosystem is a major concern The improper disposal of wastewater is especially concerning because swai fish farms use a lot of chemical agents, including disinfectants, anti-parasitic drugs and antibiotics. Mercury contamination is another consideration.
Some studies have found acceptable levels of mercury in swai from Vietnam and other southeastern and southern areas of Asia 14 , 15 , These challenges suggest the need for better water quality on swai fish farms and better quality control checks of the fish during the import process. When swai and other fish are grown on crowded fish farms, the risk of infectious diseases in the fish increases.
To combat bacterial infections, swai are often regularly given antibiotics and other drugs.
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However, there are drawbacks. Residues of antibiotics may remain in the fish, and the drugs can get into nearby waterways In a study of imported seafood, swai and other Asian seafood most frequently exceeded drug residue limits. Vietnam had the greatest number of drug residue violations among countries that export fish In fact, 84, pounds of frozen swai fish fillets imported from Vietnam and distributed in the US were recalled due to failure to meet US requirements to test the fish for drug residues and other contaminants Additionally, even if fish is properly inspected and antibiotic and other drug residues are below legal limits, their frequent use can promote resistance of bacteria to the drugs Some of the same antibiotics are used to treat human infections.
In a study by Oceana, an international ocean conservation and advocacy organization, swai was one of the three types of fish most commonly substituted for more expensive fish.
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In fact, swai was sold as 18 different types of fish — most commonly mislabeled as perch, grouper or sole Such mislabeling may happen at restaurants, supermarkets and seafood processing plants. Sometimes this mislabeling is deliberate fraud since swai is inexpensive. If you like swai, buy brands that have eco-certification from an independent group, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
Certification indicates efforts to reduce pollutants that can contribute to climate change and harm water quality If you choose to pass on swai, there are plenty of good alternatives. For white-fleshed fish, consider wild-caught US catfish, Pacific cod from the US and Canada , haddock, sole or flounder, among others Lastly, eat a variety of different kinds of fish rather than the same type all the time.