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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
June 11, 2014

Swamp Eel, Anyone?

JAMA. 2014;311(22):2265. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5837

Thousands of live swamp eels shipped since the 1990s from Asia to North American ethnic food markets may be a source of the foodborne illness gnathostomiasis, a recent study reported.

In Asian countries, infection with illness-causing Gnathostoma spinigerum nematodes reportedly is common among farmed and wild Monopterus species of eels. To determine whether eels arriving in the United States are infected, investigators tested 47 specimens purchased from markets in New York City, the Atlanta region, and Orlando, Florida. They also sampled wild-caught eels off the coasts of Florida and New Jersey.

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