Foodborne trematode infections

Human fascioliasis: review provides fresh perspectives on infection and control

©Staffan Scherz

27 July 2018 | Geneva –– A recently published paper discusses how a parasitic infection that mainly affects human liver is spreading and the need to comprehensively address all aspects of disease transmission and epidemiology.

The disease, fascioliasis, is acquired when people ingest aquatic vegetables to which the larval forms of the parasite are attached.

It is estimated that 2.4 million people in more than 70 countries are affected, with several millions at risk, worldwide.

Renewed medicine donation to sustain global fight against liver infection

©Gabrielli A./WHO

20 April 2018 | Geneva –– Hundreds of thousands of people suffering from or at risk of fascioliasis - a common foodborne infection - will receive free treatment with the continued donation of a medicine that can cure the disease.

Fascioliasis, caused by parasitic flatworms, mainly affects the liver. Infection occurs when people ingest aquatic vegetables, such as watercress, to which larval forms of the parasite are attached.

Farming communities in rural areas are mostly affected.

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

Partnership