Saturday, 24 June 2017

Czech scientists find tapeworm in salmon in Alaska

ČTK |
17 January 2017

Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, Jan 16 (CTK) - An expert team from the Czech Science Academy's (AV) Biological Centre in Ceske Budejovice, headed by parasitologist Roman Kuchta, has found a tapeworm that might attack humans in salmon in Alaska, Daniela Prochazkova, from the centre, told CTK on Monday.

So far this parasite, known as Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, has been monitored on the Asian Pacific coast only.

CNN news channel has also reported on the Czech scientists' discovery.

"In 2012, I and my colleague Mikulas Oros, from the Institute of Parasitlogy of the Slovak Science Academy in Kosice (east Slovakia), went to Alaska to find larvae of this parasite in the Pacific salmon. We succeeded in finding one and identified it as D. nihonkaiense thanks to a two-gene sequence," Kuchta told CTK.

According to this study, most of the previous cases in this locality identified as the Diphyllobothrium latum related species are actually Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, he added.

People can get infected with this tapeworm if they consume insufficiently heat-processed meat of the Pacific salmon, for instance, in sushi or sashimi.

D. nihonkaiense ranks among the Diphyllobothrium genus of tapeworm that appear mainly in mammals.

However, if they attack humans, they usually do not cause any radical health troubles, Kuchta said.

"The Diphyllobothrium species cause an illness called diphyllobothriasis. However, they do not harm us in a crushing majority of cases, or they cause only digestive troubles, such as abdominal pain or diarrhoea," Kuchta said.

However, he added that a tapeworm invasion cannot be underestimated. Tapeworms may cause even serious health troubles in some cases, especially to people who suffer from another illness, said Kuchta who has been researching into this species for ten years.

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