The human being is exposed to parasites and pathogenic microorganisms that can infect it. The variety and quantity is extensive, as well as the diseases and symptoms that they can produce in the body. In the case of Anisakis simplex, it is a nematode, that is, a worm of the Anisakidae family that parasitizes marine mammals in its adult form.
Normally, this parasite lives in the stomach of whales, seals and dolphins. From there it goes on to fulfill part of its cycle in some fish and mollusks, which are its intermediate hosts. In turn, if these contaminated marine animals are consumed by humans, the latter can contract the infection or make an allergic reaction to the parasite. If you want to know more about this parasite in FastlyHealwe give you a l ista of fish with Anisakis.
Table of Contents
What is Anisakis?
Anisakis simplex is a nematode that needs other animals to complete its life cycle. This parasite lives in the stomach of marine mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins and their eggs, expelled through the feces, will go on to parasitize fish and crustaceans . Nematode larvae can then be found in the muscle tissue of any marine fish.
Many fish and cephalopods can serve anisakis as an intermediate host to complete their cycle. In turn, if people consume fish contaminated by Anisakis without previously treating it, these whitish worms will find a new host, which can cause people from allergic reactions to severe infections .
More recently, the issue of Anisakis-contaminated fish has been on the table, as processing fish offshore has become common practice. This results in the contaminated viscera going quickly to the sea and in this way the cycle of infection continues, as other fish consume the contaminated remains, becoming hosts.
In the following article we offer you more information about Anisakis: symptoms and treatment .
List of fish with anisakis
Anisakis is found in sea fish, unfortunately, among many of those commonly found on our tables. According to data from the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition  , it is estimated that 36% of all the fish that we can find in Spanish markets is infected with anisakis. Here is a list of fish with anisakis most frequently:
- Other affected species.
Similarly, according to the available data, it is known that the fish with the greatest contamination is the one that comes from the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In contrast, only 6% of the contaminated fish comes from the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Health Protection Agency of the Generalitat de Catalunya, around 5% of the fishing off the Catalan coast is infected by Anisakis. 
On the other hand, in freshwater fish and those reared by fish farming the risk of infection by Anisakis is practically non-existent . In the case of oysters, clams, mussels and shellfish in general, the risk of contamination is minimal. But, in addition, to avoid any risk of infection, some measures can be taken, such as cooking the fish well or if it is to be consumed raw, freezing it for at least 24 hours at -20ºC. In fact, since 2006 in Spain a Royal Decree obliges establishments to freeze fish like this, if it is going to be served raw or semi-raw; with the aim of preventing Anisakis contamination.
According to the Spanish Foundation for the Digestive System (FEAD), in 2012, some 20,000 cases of anisakiasis were reported worldwide . In 2011, 600 cases of anisakiosis had been reported in Europe. Japan is considered the country with the highest incidence of anisakiasis in the world.
Fish farming: an option without anisakis
The fish aquaculture are free of Anisakis, say the Association of Producers of Crops Marinos (Apromar) and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP), who through scientific research seek to present a completely safe option for consumers and also be recognized as such. According to them, no fish from aquaculture, marine or freshwater, have anisakis been detected.
The Institute of Science and Technology of Food and Nutrition, the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Agrupación de Defensa Sanitaria de Acuicultura de la Comunidad Valenciana (ADS Acuival) also participated in the study. The study concluded that aquaculture fish is free of Anisakis and that this is due to the controlled conditions of farms that follow strict sanitary programs and feeding with dehydrated and sterilized feed free of the parasite.
The study “Evaluation of the presence of nematodes of the genus Anisakis in Spanish marine aquaculture fish”  allowed the analysis of 1,077 fish of different species. Samples were taken between 2010 and 2012 in 45 farms distributed in the communities of Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, the Canary Islands and Galicia.
Anisakis simplex infection
Simple Anisakis infection produces different symptoms in humans. On the one hand, it can produce anisakiosis or anisakidosis, which is the infection of the digestive tract and, on the other hand, it produces allergic reactions of different degrees of severity, which can even lead to anaphylactic shock.
- Anisakiosis or anisakidosis: Symptoms of infection appear within 48 to 72 hours after ingestion of the parasite and may include general abdominal discomfort with pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Eventually the larvae can cross the intestinal wall and parasitize other organs.
- Allergic reactions: This picture can appear quickly and cause from hives to anaphylaxis.
In addition, both clinical pictures can appear together.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.