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      Genera and Species of the Anisakidae Family and Their Geographical Distribution

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          The parasites of the Anisakidae family infest mainly marine mammals; however, they have the ability to infest paratenic hosts such as mollusks, small crustaceans and fish. The consumption of meat from animals of aquatic origin favors the acquisition of the disease known as Anisakiasis or Anisakidosis, depending on the species of the infecting parasite. Currently, the identification of the members of this family is carried out through the use of molecular tests, which brings about the generation of new information. The purpose of this review was to identify the genus and species of the Anisakidae family by reviewing scientific papers that used molecular tests to confirm the genus and species. The adaptability of the Anisakidae family to multiple hosts and environmental conditions allows it to have a worldwide distribution. As it is a zoonotic agent and causes non-specific clinical symptoms, it is important to know about the different members of the Anisakidae family, as well as the hosts where they have been collected.


          Nematodes of the Anisakidae family have the ability to infest a wide variety of aquatic hosts during the development of their larval stages, mainly marine mammals, aquatic birds, such as pelicans, and freshwater fish, such crucian carp, these being the hosts where the life cycle is completed. The participation of intermediate hosts such as cephalopods, shrimp, crustaceans and marine fish, is an important part of this cycle. Due to morphological changes and updates to the genetic information of the different members of the family, the purpose of this review was to carry out a bibliographic search of the genus and species of the Anisakidae family identified by molecular tests, as well as the geographical area in which they were collected. The Anisakidae family is made up of eight different parasitic genera and 46 different species. Those of clinical importance to human health are highlighted: Anisakis pegreffi, A. simplex sensu stricto, Contracaecum osculatum, Pseudoterranova azarazi, P. cattani, P. decipiens and P. krabbei. The geographical distribution of these genera and species is located mainly in the European continent, Asia and South America, as well as in North and Central America and Australia. Based on the information collected from the Anisakidae family, it was determined that the geographical distribution is affected by different environmental factors, the host and the ability of the parasite itself to adapt. Its ability to adapt to the human organism has led to it being considered as a zoonotic agent. The disease in humans manifests nonspecifically, however the consumption of raw or semi-raw seafood is crucial information to link the presentation of the parasite with the disease. The use of morphological and molecular tests is of utmost importance for the correct diagnosis of the genus and species of the Anisakidae family.

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          Anisakis simplex: from obscure infectious worm to inducer of immune hypersensitivity.

          Infection of humans with the nematode worm parasite Anisakis simplex was first described in the 1960s in association with the consumption of raw or undercooked fish. During the 1990s it was realized that even the ingestion of dead worms in food fish can cause severe hypersensitivity reactions, that these may be more prevalent than infection itself, and that this outcome could be associated with food preparations previously considered safe. Not only may allergic symptoms arise from infection by the parasites ("gastroallergic anisakiasis"), but true anaphylactic reactions can also occur following exposure to allergens from dead worms by food-borne, airborne, or skin contact routes. This review discusses A. simplex pathogenesis in humans, covering immune hypersensitivity reactions both in the context of a living infection and in terms of exposure to its allergens by other routes. Over the last 20 years, several studies have concentrated on A. simplex antigen characterization and innate as well as adaptive immune response to this parasite. Molecular characterization of Anisakis allergens and isolation of their encoding cDNAs is now an active field of research that should provide improved diagnostic tools in addition to tools with which to enhance our understanding of pathogenesis and controversial aspects of A. simplex allergy. We also discuss the potential relevance of parasite products such as allergens, proteinases, and proteinase inhibitors and the activation of basophils, eosinophils, and mast cells in the induction of A. simplex-related immune hypersensitivity states induced by exposure to the parasite, dead or alive.
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            Advances and trends in the molecular systematics of anisakid nematodes, with implications for their evolutionary ecology and host-parasite co-evolutionary processes.

            The application of molecular systematics to the anisakid nematodes of the genera Anisakis, Pseudoterranova and Contracaecum, parasites of aquatic organisms, over the last two decades, has advanced the understanding of their systematics, taxonomy, ecology and phylogeny substantially. Here the results of this effort on this group of species from the early genetic works to the current status of their revised taxonomy, ecology and evolutionary aspects are reviewed for each of three parasitic groups. It has been shown that many anisakid morphospecies of Anisakis, Contracaecum and Pseudoterranova include a certain number of sibling species. Molecular genetic markers provided a rapid, precise means to screen and identify several species that serve as definitive and intermediate and or/paratenic hosts of the so far genetically characterized species. Patterns of differential distribution of anisakid nematodes in various definitive and intermediate hosts are presented. Differences in the life history of related species can be due both to differential host-parasite co-adaptation and co-evolution, and/or to interspecific competition, that can reduce the range of potential hosts in sympatric conditions. Phylogenetic hypotheses attempted for anisakid nematodes and the possible evolutionary scenarios that have been proposed inferred from molecular data, also with respect to the phylogeny of their hosts are presented for the parasite-host associations Anisakis-cetaceans and Contracaecum-pinnipeds, showing that codivergence and host-switching events could have accompanied the evolution of these groups of parasites. Finally, examples in which anisakid nematodes recognized genetically at the species level in definitive and intermediate/paratenic hosts from various geographical areas of the Boreal and Austral regions and their infection levels have been used as biological indicators of fish stocks and food-web integrity in areas at high versus low levels of habitat disturbance (pollution, overfishing, by-catch) are presented.
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              Genetic markers in ribosomal DNA for the identification of members of the genus Anisakis (Nematoda: ascaridoidea) defined by polymerase-chain-reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism.

              Polymerase-chain-reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed to establish genetic markers in rDNA, for the identification of the three sibling species of the Anisakis simplex complex and morphologically differentiated Anisakis species, i.e. Anisakis physeteris, Anisakis schupakovi, Anisakis typica and Anisakis ziphidarum. Different restriction patterns were found between A. simplex sensu stricto and Anisakis pegreffii with two of the restriction endonucleases used (HinfI and TaqI), between A. simplex sensu stricto and A. simplex C with one endonuclease (HhaI), and between A. simplex C and Aniskis pegreffii with three endonucleases (HhaI, HinfI and TaqI), while no variation in patterns was detected among individuals within each species. The species A. physeteris, A. schupakovi, A. typica and A. ziphidarum were found to be different from each other and different from the three sibling species of the A. simplex complex by distinct fragments using 10-12 of the endonucleases tested. The polymorphisms obtained by restriction fragment length polymorphisms have provided a new set of genetic markers for the accurate identification of sibling species and morphospecies.

                Author and article information

                Animals (Basel)
                Animals (Basel)
                Animals : an Open Access Journal from MDPI
                11 December 2020
                December 2020
                : 10
                : 12
                [1 ]Instituto de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Rancho Universitario Av. Universidad km 1. Ex-Hda. de Aquetzalpa A.P. 32, Tulancingo 43600, Hidalgo, Mexico; juan_angeles@ 123456uaeh.edu.mx (J.C.Á.-H.); mvzfabiangomez@ 123456gmail.com (F.R.G.-d.A.); nydia_reyes@ 123456uaeh.edu.mx (N.E.R.-R.); vicente_vega11156@ 123456uaeh.edu.mx (V.V.-S.); patricia_garcia6857@ 123456uaeh.edu.mx (P.B.G.-R.); rcampos@ 123456uaeh.edu.mx (R.G.C.-M.)
                [2 ]Departamento de Medicina and Zootecnia de Aves, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Av. Universidad 3000, Col. UNAM, C.U. Del. Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510, Mexico; nlca@ 123456unam.mx
                [3 ]Animal Health Research Center, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Toluca 50295, Mexico; salgadomiranda@ 123456uaemex.mx
                Author notes
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                anisakiasis, anisakidosis, anisakidae, parasite, zoonotic, fish


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