Infections related to the ingestion of seafood. Part II: parasitic infections and food safety

Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 May;4(5):294-300. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(04)01005-9.


Parasites are responsible for a substantial number of seafood-associated infections. The factor most commonly associated with infection is consumption of raw or undercooked seafood. People with underlying disorders, particularly liver disease, are more susceptible to infection. In the first part of this review, published last month, we discussed the viral and bacterial agents associated with consumption of seafood. In part II, we discuss the parasites commonly associated with seafood consumption. Parasites readily identifiable from both consumable seafood and infected human beings include nematodes, trematodes, cestodes, and protozoa. The salient features associated with seafood-related parasite infestations are discussed. To provide a safe product for consumers, the seafood industry and the government in the USA have undertaken specific measures, which include good manufacturing practices and hazards analysis and critical control points implemented by the government and regulatory agencies. Consumers should take common precautions including obtaining seafood from reputable sources especially if the seafood is to be consumed uncooked. Adequate cooking of seafood is the safest way of preventing related infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooking / standards
  • Food Handling / standards*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Seafood / microbiology
  • Seafood / parasitology*