Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


Weeks in Review


Weeks to Publication
Indexed in KCI, KoreaMed, Synapse, DOAJ
Open Access, Peer Reviewed
pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850


Volume 27 Issue 1 March 2024


Volume 27 Issue 2 June 2024
Review article

Anisakidosis in humans and animals and detection of anisakid larvae in fish and cephalopods in Korea: a literature review (1971-2022)

Jong-Yil Chai, Woon-Mok Sohn, Bong-Kwang Jung

Ann Clin Microbiol 2024 June, 27(2): 6.

Human anisakiasis (or anisakidosis) is a disease caused by the ingestion of marine fish or cephalopods infected with anisakid nematode larvae of the genera Anisakis, Pseudoterranova, Contracaecum, and Hysterothylacium. Anisakiasis is a clinically important disease that often manifests as an acute abdominal syndrome requiring emergency medical attention and care. In South Korea (= Korea), at least several thousand clinical cases have been diagnosed to date; however, only a small proportion of them have been reported in the literature (1971-2022). The most common etiological agents were Anisakis pegreffii (reported as Anisakis sp., Anisakis type I, or erroneously Anisakis simplex), followed by Pseudoterranova decipiens, Contracaecum sp., and Anisakis simplex sensu stricto (s.s.). Most cases involved the stomach and small or large intestine, with a few involving the oral cavity (oral mucosa, pharynx, and tonsils), esophagus, omentum, and mesocolic lymph nodes. Anisakis allergies and host immune responses have been studied in humans and experimental animals. Marine fish and cephalopods, including sea eel (Astroconger myriaster), squid (Todarodes pacificus), yellow corvina (Pseudosciaena manchurica), Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus), codfish (Gadus macrocephalus), yellowtail (Seriola quinquaradiata), and rockfish (Sebastes spp.), are the most common infection sources. Surveys were performed on anisakid nematode larvae in marine fish and cephalopods caught in the western, eastern, and southern seas of Korea. The larvae recovered from fish or cephalopods caught from the western and southern seas were predominantly A. pegreffii larvae; however, the larvae from the eastern sea were either A. pegreffii larvae (in the chub mackerel, Japanese flounder, and rockfish) or A. simplex s.s. (in the salmon and pollock; these fish migrate through the northern North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea and come to Korea). Health education to avoid eating raw or improperly cooked marine fish and cephalopods (particularly the viscera) is crucial for preventing human anisakidosis in Korea.