Hazard identification, impact, and researches to define an efficient strategy of prevention

Qu'est-ce que Fish-Parasites ?Type of research: experimental development

Duration of the project: December 2010-May 2014

Short introduction

Protozoan and Metazoan parasites frequently infest edible fishes worldwide. Some of them are both fish pathogens and recognized agents of important zoonoses with high public health impact. In addition, uncertainty exists about the potential ability of other fish pathogens to infect humans. Meanwhile, parasitized fish can be found often enough in European fish stores. Furthermore, some parasites of fish are able to alter the organoleptic properties of fish products, having therefore a negative impact on fish industry. For these reasons, the present Fish-Parasites action ( is targeting fish parasites with impact on both health of consumers and quality of seafood. It proposes a reappraisal of fish-parasite related hazards by developing cost-effective innovative methods to detect eukaryotic pathogens in edible fish, associated with adapted training programs.

Main objectives

It focuses mainly on the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts, Anisakidae and Diphyllobothriidae larvae that cause two emerging helminthic diseases: anisakiasis and diphyllobothriasis, respectively. The Fish-Parasites action aims at improving the safety of fish and fish-derived products through a multidisciplinary work program that includes:(i) identifying Cryptosporidium protists, larval Anisakidae nematodes or Diphyllobothriidae cestodes detected in the most currently consumed fish in France; (ii) exploring the potentially structuring role of host species, geography, seasonality and other factors on parasite population; (iii) providing technical strategies to improve parasite detection in fish fillets; (iv) exploring the involvement of fish parasites in the alteration of marketable fish products; (v) setting a scientific platform to help the operators (business operators, technicians, veterinaries and even staffs of fish stores) to identify parasites in fish; (vi) developing continuing education and training programs.

The PEGASE-Biosciences platform got involved in the Fish-Parasites action because of their expertise in developing high-throughput-sequencing and in setting up an efficient workflow of sequence analysis to identify Anisakidae nematodes.


The Fish-Parasites action is supported by the French Agency of Research (ANR-10-ALIA-004) and has been labelled by the Aquimer competitivity pole of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

Publication : Monitoring of four DNA extraction methods upstream of high-throughput sequencing of Anisakidae nematodes, Seesao et al., Journal of Microbiological Methods (2014)