Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 429–440 | Cite as

A survey of metacercarial infections in commonly edible fish and crab hosts prevailing in Manipur, Northeast India

  • Voleentina Devi Athokpam
  • Veena TandonEmail author
Original Article


Food-borne trematode infections, which are mainly transmitted through consumption of inadequately cooked or raw fish and crabs, affect a large section of population, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, thus eliciting a remarkable morbidity and causing serious damage to health. In India, centering in several mountainous regions of the Northeast, the natives have the habit of consuming such fish or crabs that still sustain viable infective larval stage (metacercaria) of trematode flukes in their muscle tissue. The present study was undertaken to ascertain the spectrum of metacercarial diversity in commonly edible freshwater fishes and crab species in the northeastern state of Manipur and to adjudge their zoonotic potential, if any. Commonly edible fishes belonging to 15 species from 12 localities and crabs belonging to 2 species from 11 localities across Manipur state were surveyed for the purpose. The study revealed that 3 species of fishes (Channa punctatus, C. straitus and Wallago attu) harboured 4 different types of metacercariae belonging to 4 trematode families—Euclinostomum heterostomum (Clinostomidae); Lophosicyadiplostomum sp. and Posthodiplostomum sp. (Diplostomidae); and Polylekithum sp. (Allocreadiidae) in addition to adult flukes of Isoparorchis hypselobagri (Isoparorchiidae). Among these, metacercariae of Posthodiplostomum showed the highest prevalence (2.33 %) though a low abundance, while for other species the prevalence ranged between 0.25 and 1.19 %. The crab species (Barythelphusa lugubris masoniana and Potamiscus manipuriensis) were found infected with 4 different types of metacercariae representing the genera Paragonimus (Troglotrematidae) and Microphallus (Microphallidae). The paragonimids showed a higher rate of occurrence (~4–25 %) compared to microphallids (~15 %). The crustaceans surveyed emerged as prospective intermediate hosts for lungflukes. Identifying the potent vectors for zoonotic parasites helps in control measures towards their transmission to higher mammals.


Trematode Metacercaria Fish Crustacea Zoonosis Manipur Northeast India 



The study was carried out under the “North-East Parasite Information and Analysis Centre (NEPIAC)” sanctioned to VT and funded by Department of Information Technology (Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, GOI). Financial support in the form of ‘Junior Research Fellowship (NEPIAC)’, ‘University Grants Commission Research Fellowship in Science for Meritorious Students’ and ‘Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Senior Research Fellowship’ to VDA is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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