Contracaecum larvae: morphological and morphometric retrospective analysis, biogeography and zoonotic risk in the amazon

Abstract In Brazil there are several records of parasitic nematodes of fish with zoonotic potential, especially those belonging to the family Anisakidae. This study considers the morphology, morphometry and prevalence of Contracaecum in Astronotus ocellatus , fish consumed in the Amazon and sold as ornamental and it also performs a retrospective analysis of the diversity of fish with larvae of Contracaecum, in studies carried out in Brazil over a period of 90 years. 40 specimens of A. ocellatus were necropsied, and the nematodes were collected and fixed in 93 parts 70% ethyl alcohol, 5 parts formaldehyde, and 2 parts glacial acetic acid (AFA) for morphological analysis under light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Of the 40 fish collected during this work, 27 were parasitized by Contracaecum larvae with a total intensity of 150 larvae. Retrospective analysis of intermediate host diversity for Contracaecum larvae resulted in 16 orders, 49 families, 96 genera, 140 species and a hybrid morphotype. In the retrospective study, half of the fish were from freshwater, with the order Perciformes being the most representative, with 16 families, 30 genera and 37 species. In Brazil, the occurrence of larvae of Contracaecum in fish was reported in 15 of the 26 states, with Rio de Janeiro presenting the most information regarding fish harboring Contracaecum larvae.