Korean J Parasitol.  2016 Aug;54(4):497-502. 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.4.497.

Pygidiopsis summa (Digenea: Heterophyidae): Status of Metacercarial Infection in Mullets from Coastal Areas in the Republic of Korea

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju 52828, Korea. wmsohn@gnu.ac.kr
  • 2Division of Malaria and Parasitic Diseases, National Research Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong 28159, Korea.
  • 3Infectious Disease Intelligence Division, Gangwon Institute of Health and Environment, Chuncheon 24203, Korea.


To know the infection status of zoonotic trematode metacercariae in brackish water fish, we surveyed mullets collected from 18 coastal areas in the Republic of Korea. The metacercariae of Pygidiopsis summa were detected in 236 (68.2%) out of 346 mullets examined. They were found in mullets from 15 areas except for those from Boseong-gun (Jeollanam-do), Pohang-si, and Uljin-gun (Gyeongsangbuk-do). Especially in mullets from Taean-gun (Chungcheongnam-do) and Geoje-si (Gyeongsangnam-do), their prevalences were 100% and 95.5%, and the average metacercarial density was more than 1,000 per fish. They were also detected in mullets from 3 coastal lakes, Gyeongpoho, Songjiho, and Hwajinpoho, in Gangwon-do, and their average densities were 419, 147, and 672 per infected fish, respectively. The metacercariae of 5 other heterophyid species, including Heterophyes nocens, Heterophyopsis continua, Metagonimus sp., Stictodora fuscata, and Stictodora lari, were found in the mullets examined. The metacercariae of H. nocens were detected in 66.7, 100, 28.6, 81.6, 3.9, 61.5, and 27.3% of mullets from Muan-gun, Shinan-gun, Haenam-gun, Gangjin-gun, and Boseong-gun (Jeollanam-do), Hadong-gun, and Geoje-si (Gyeongsangnam-do), and their metacercarial intensities were 64, 84, 119, 99, 1, 24, and 24 per fish infected, respectively. From the above results, it has been confirmed that P. summa metacercariae are heavily infected in mullets from coastal areas of Korea. It is suggested that residents who frequently consume raw mullet dish can be easily infected with heterophyid flukes.


Pygidiopsis summa; heterophyid fluke; infection status; metacercaria; mullet; coastal area
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