Low prevalence of Contracaecum third-stage larvae parasitizing Sea of Galilee fisheries: 1-year survey after 57 years of no information

Nadav Davidovich, Perla Tedesco, Monica Caffara, Valentina Luci, Alessia Cantori, Danny Morick, Maria Letizia Fioravanti, Andrea Gustinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Freshwater and marine ecosystems are a suitable habitat for parasitic nematodes of the genus Contracaecum (family: Anisakidae) to complete their complex life cycle. Several fish species of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) were reported in 1964 as second intermediate/paratenic hosts of Contracaecum spp. larvae. The lack of taxonomically relevant morphological features of these larvae hindered their proper identification. Here we report the results of a 1-year survey conducted in 2021, 57 years after the first (and only) such survey. We analyzed 352 specimens from 10 fish species (native and non-native) of the Sea of Galilee (Israel) ichthyofauna. We compared our results with those of the first parasitological survey conducted by Paperna in 1964; the overall prevalence of nematodes referable to Contracaecum larvae was 16.8% and 0.85% in 1964 and in 2021, respectively. Different from the first survey that identified Contracaecum larvae morphologically, we used both morphological and molecular tools. Two wild native cyprinids—Jordan himri (Carasobarbus canis) and Jordan barbel (Luciobarbus longiceps)—were infected (a single specimen each) with Contracaecum quadripapillatum larvae in their abdominal cavity. A single specimen of blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) was infected with two larvae of Contracaecum multipapillatum E, localized in the pericardial cavity. The findings of our study, which is part of a large project focused on Contracaecum spp. infecting both piscivorous birds and fish collected in Israel, advance our knowledge about the distribution and host range of this potentially zoonotic parasite in fishery products of the Sea of Galilee.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00204
JournalFood and Waterborne Parasitology
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Contracaecum larva
  • Fishery
  • Israel
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science


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