Foodborne trematode infections

Thailand uses integrated ecosystems health approach to beat cancer-causing disease

©Hugh Derr

15 December 2017 | Geneva -- A popular traditional dish consisting mainly of raw fish can be the cause of a high prevalence of liver cancer in rural Thailand.

The infection is caused by parasites that live in the bile duct.

The Thai authorities are using a model approach to create more knowledge and awareness among rural populations.

The results are astounding.

Foodborne trematode infections

© Albis Gabrielli/WHO

Foodborne trematode infections, or foodborne trematodiases, are a group of parasitic infections caused by trematodes (flatworms or “flukes”) that are acquired through ingestion of food contaminated with the larval stages of the parasite.

Transmission is linked to human behaviour patterns related to methods of producing, processing and preparing foods. In particular, dishes containing raw fish, crustaceans and plants are an established dietary tradition of many populations living in countries where these diseases are endemic. Foodborne trematodiases are thus sustained and perpetuated by entrenched cultural practices.

  • The disease
    Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control

The disease

The term opisthorchiasis, or cat liver fluke disease, indicates two distinct infections: the one with Opisthorchis viverrini, which is referred to as opisthorchiasis viverrini, and the one with Opisthorchis felineus, which is referred to as opisthorchiasis felinea.

  • The disease
    Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control

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