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L: Adult of O. felineus. R: A large group of fish. Fish do not have to ingest anything because the parasite can encyst under the scales or in flesh. Eating infected fish can result in Opisthorchis infection

Opisthorchis species are liver fluke parasites acquired by eating raw or undercooked fish from endemic countries: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and other areas of Asia, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. While most infected persons are asymptomatic, infections of longer duration can result in severe symptoms and serious illness. Diagnosis is based on identification of eggs in stool specimens with a microscope. Safe and effective medication is available to treat Opisthorchis infections. Adequately freezing or cooking fish will kill the parasite.

Image: L: Adult of O. felineus. R: A large group of fish. Fish do not have to ingest anything because the parasite can encyst under the scales or in flesh. Eating infected fish can result in Opisthorchis infection. Credit: Web Atlas of Medical Parasitology and the Korean Society for Parasitology, NEFSC/NOAA

  • Page last reviewed: January 10, 2012
  • Page last updated: January 10, 2012
  • Content source:
    • Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
    • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
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