Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Food Technology, University of Lahore, Pakistanhran, Iran
Department of Food Technology, University of Lahore, Pakistan
Fish and seafood are a main source of animal protein in the diet. Because of their health advantages over red meats, the consumption of fish and seafood has increased. Catches can be gathered from seas, rivers and lakes whose water can range from pristine to contaminated. Often contamination is from human and animal sources; thus, fish and seafood can be involved in the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms and toxins. Geographical region, season, and, for fish, whether they are pelagic (surface to mid-water) or demersal (bottom) feeders will influence the numbers and types of microorganisms present on freshly caught seafood.
Seafood-associated infections are caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites; this diverse group of pathogens results in a wide variety of clinical syndromes, each with its own epidemiology. Some seafood commodities are inherently riskier than others, owing to many factors, including the nature of the environment from which they come, their mode of feeding, the season during which they are harvested, and how they are prepared and served. Prevention of seafood-associated infections requires an understanding not only of the etiologic agents and seafood commodities associated with illness but also of the mechanisms of contamination that are amenable to control. Defining these problem areas, which relies on surveillance of seafood-associated infections through outbreak and case reporting, can lead to targeted research and help to guide control efforts. Coordinated efforts are necessary to further reduce the risk of seafood-associated illnesses. Continued surveillance will be important to assess the effectiveness of current and future prevention strategies.