Ups and downs of infections with the broad fish tapeworm Dibothriocephalus latus in Europe (Part II) and Asia from 1900 to 2020

Adv Parasitol. 2023:122:1-69. doi: 10.1016/bs.apar.2023.05.001. Epub 2023 Jun 17.


The broad fish tapeworm, Dibothriocephalus latus (Diphyllobothriidea), is the most important causative agent of diphyllobothriosis, a fish-borne zoonosis, in Europe. Part I of this review focused on the occurrence of D. latus in northwestern and central Europe, particularly in Fennoscandia, the Baltic, the Alpine lakes and Danube River regions during 1900-2020. Part II summarises data on D. latus from the European and Asian parts of Russia and from Asian countries. The tapeworm has occurred throughout Russia, with the most important foci in (i) the Republic of Karelia in the northwest of European Russia, (ii) the Volga River basin in the central and southern parts of European Russia, (iii) the Ob-Irtysh rivers region in the Ural region, (iv) the Yenisei-Lena rivers region in Siberia, and (v) the Lake Baikal basin in Siberia. The incidence of diphyllobothriosis has declined in recent decades, especially in European Russia, but zoonosis is still prevalent in some regions of Siberia. Cases reported from Arctic regions, the region around Lake Baikal, and the Pacific coast, including the Amur basin, however, were probably misidentifications with D. dendriticus and/or D. nihonkaiensis. No other Asian country where D. latus findings represented either imported cases or misidentifications had natural focus of diphyllobothriosis. Patterns of distribution of D. latus occurrence were similar in all Eurasian foci between 1900 and 2020. The numbers of records were associated with historical and epidemiological milestones of particular time periods.

Keywords: Asia; Cestoda; Diphyllobothriidea; Diphyllobothriosis; Diphyllobothrium latum; Fish tapeworms; Fish-borne zoonosis; Food-borne diseases; Human parasites; Russia.