Abstract

Consumption of raw freshwater fish produced in both rural farm and urban wastewater ponds is a common practice in Vietnam. The present study assessed the risk of fish-borne zoonotic trematode (FZT) infection from fish raised in both these aquaculture systems in northern Vietnam. The diversity, prevalence, and infection intensity of FZT metacercariae in 1,500 freshwater fish collected from 6 sites located in rural and urban areas in northern Vietnam were investigated. The specific diagnosis of species was made by morphologic methods. The overall FZT prevalence in fish from both urban wastewater ponds and rural farm ponds was 11.2%. In wastewater ponds, the overall prevalence was 5.1%, ranging from 2.0% in tilapia to 7.3% in common and grass carp. In fish from farm ponds, the prevalence was 17.3%, and ranged from 6.7% in mud carp to 26.7% in common carp. The mean intensity of FZT infection was also higher in fish from farm ponds than that in fish from wastewater ponds (6.0% and 8.4%, respectively). The FZT species recovered from infected fish included both liver (Clonorchis sinensis) and intestinal flukes (Haplorchis taichui, Haplorchis pumilio, and Centrocestus formosanus). The prevalence of FZT in fish raised in these common farm systems represents a significant public health risk for a population with a strong cultural preference for consuming raw or inadequately prepared fish. These research results should encourage the public health and agriculture sectors to conduct the risk factor research required to develop control programs for FZT.

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