Investigation of Anisakis larvae in different products of ready-to-eat fish meat and imported frozen fish in Turkey

Simsek E. , Pekmezci G., Yildirim A. , Duzlu Ö. , Onder Z. , Ciloglu A. , ...Daha Fazla

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY, cilt.333, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier


Globalization opens new market areas and affects food consumption habits, resulting in rapid and remarkable cultural change. Food habits such as consumption of raw fish meat have become popular, resulting in increased risk of emerging infectious diseases. Anisakis simplex sensu stricto (s.s) and A. pegreffii are the most common and important fish-borne zoonotic nematodes responsible for human anisakiasis, which occurs through the consumption of raw or undercooked fish as well as cooked fish due to their heat-stable allergens. Here, we investigated the prevalence, intensity, and abundance of Anisakis larvae in imported fish and ready-to-eat local fish products in Turkey. A total of 205 ready-to-eat fish products, 100 imported frozen Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fillets, and 100 imported frozen whole Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) were sampled from supermarkets, sushi restaurants, and fish markets. All samples were individually examined using a pepsin digestion technique. In total, 602 Anisakis type I larvae were recovered from 98/100 mackerel. No larvae were found in ready-to-eat products or frozen Atlantic salmon fillets. Overall, 8.8% of the larvae were found in the muscle tissue. The overall mean intensity and abundance of infection in mackerel were 6.14 and 6.02, respectively. The larvae were molecularly identified and their phylogenetic relationships with the relevant Anisakis sequences in GenBank were investigated. For this purpose, a subsample of randomly selected 100 Anisakis larvae were analyzed with PCR-RFLP of the ITS region. The larvae were identified as A. simplex (s.s.) (n = 87) and hybrids (n = 13). ITS and cox2 gene regions of all hybrids and randomly selected 50 A. simplex (s.s.) larvae were sequenced for species confirmation and phylogenetic analyses. No intraspecific nucleotide variation was found among the ITS sequences of either species. Seven and three haplotypes, respectively, were identified for A. simplex (s.s.) and hybrid species according to DNA polymorphism of the cox2 gene. Hybrids in our study clustered within the common A. simplex (s.s.) clade in the cox2 phylogenetic tree indicating the dominance of A. simplex (s.s) in the catching area of Atlantic mackerel. Consequently, our study indicates high occurrence of A. simplex (s.s.) larvae with an overall 98.0% prevalence in imported Atlantic mackerel, and highlights the importance of these fish as potential reservoirs for human allergic anisakiasis in Turkey and possibly in other countries.