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The importance of wild fish in the epidemiology of Clonorchis sinensis in Vietnam

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Abstract

Preliminary findings of a high prevalence of Clonorchis sinensis in wild-caught fish in a North Vietnam reservoir (Thac Ba reservoir, Yen Bai Province) prompted a longitudinal epidemiological study of fish infections. Monthly collections of fish from September 2014 to August 2015 were processed for recovery of metacercariae; 1219 fish, representing 22 species, were examined. Seven species were infected with C. sinensis metacercariae. Four species, Toxabramis houdemeri, Hemiculter leucisculus, Cultrichthys erythropterus, and Culter recurvirostris, had high prevalence (31.1 to 76.7 %); metacercarial intensities ranged from 3.9 to 65.7 metacercariae/fish. A seasonal variation of C. sinensis prevalence was observed in T. houdemeri. Variation in intensity of infection occurred in C. erythropterus and H. leucisculus. Intensity and prevalence of C. sinensis in the most highly infected species, T. houdemeri, varied by fish size; prevalence was higher in fish weighing more than 3 g, and intensity was higher in fish weighing more than 5 g. The distribution of metacercariae in the body region of T. houdemeri was significantly higher in the caudal fin (14.7 metacercariae/g), compared to the body and head regions (0.7 and 1.4 metacercariae/g, respectively). Further epidemiological investigations on C. sinensis in this reservoir region should include assessing the relative risk of the different fish species for humans based on the latter’s food preferences, and the prevalence of C. sinensis in the community. The snail intermediate host(s) in the reservoir should also be identified along with the ecological factors influencing its exposure to C. sinensis eggs and its subsequent transmission of cercariae to fish. Also needed are investigations on the relative importance of wild and domestic reservoir hosts as sources of egg contamination of the reservoir.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number 106-YS.05-2013.26. The authors wish to thank the following people: Tran Thi Hang for her important technical contributions and Dr. Henry Madsen and Dr, Nguyen Manh Hung for their excellent advice on statistical aspects and snail intermediate hosts. The staff of the Center for Environment and Disease Monitoring in Aquaculture in North Vietnam and the Preventive Medical Center of Yen Bai Province are also thanked for their support in providing laboratory facilities and epidemiological information of C. sinensis in Yen Bai. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the expert assistance of Dr. Eric Hoberg and Patricia Pillit, of the US National Parasite Collection, in identifying the adult worms recovered from the infected hamsters.

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Correspondence to Van Thi Phan.

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Bui, T.N., Pham, T.T., Nguyen, N.T. et al. The importance of wild fish in the epidemiology of Clonorchis sinensis in Vietnam. Parasitol Res 115, 3401–3408 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-016-5100-8

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