Food-borne Trematodiases in East Asia: Epidemiology and Burden

  • Thomas FürstEmail author
  • Puangrat Yongvanit
  • Narong Khuntikeo
  • Zhao-Rong Lun
  • Juanita A. Haagsma
  • Paul R. Torgerson
  • Peter Odermatt
  • Christine Bürli
  • Nakul Chitnis
  • Paiboon Sithithaworn
Part of the Neglected Tropical Diseases book series (NTD)


Food-borne trematodiases are a cluster of parasitic helminth infections in humans and animals and belong to the cluster of neglected tropical diseases. The causative helminths dispose of a complex life cycle. As with many helminth infections, most infected people may only experience mild and non-specific clinical signs and symptoms. However, repeated, heavy and long-term infections may lead to severe clinical manifestations and also potentially fatal complications such as cholangiocarcinoma. Diagnosis remains a challenge as reliable, affordable, rapid, and simple-to-use diagnostic techniques are not available. If correctly and early diagnosed, safe, cheap, efficacious, orally administered drugs are available. Globally, the disease burden of food-borne trematodiases is estimated to be well within the range of other and better known neglected tropical diseases (e.g. dengue, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and schistosomiasis) with a concentration in East and Southeast Asia. Food-borne trematodiases are zoonoses and may also have a negative impact on agri- and aquacultural production in affected regions. Mathematical modelling and analysis of food-borne trematodiases transmission dynamics to inform control and prevention is still in a very early stage, also due to the very limited availability of essential data. The current mainstay of human food-borne trematodiases control is drug-based morbidity control. For improved control, prevention or even elimination, more integrated efforts adopting also an ecosystem and “One Health” perspective are needed.


Food-borne trematodiases Neglected tropical diseases East and Southeast Asia Epidemiology Burden of disease Life cycle Transmission Clinical signs and symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Veterinary issues Economic issues Mathematical disease modelling Control and prevention 


Conflict of Interests

The authors have nothing to disclose.

Funding Statement

TF acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (project no. P300P3-154634). PY, NK, and PS are supported by the National Research Council of Thailand through the Fluke Free Thailand Project. ZRL is supported by grants from the National Base Research programme (973 project; NO.2010CB530000) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (project nos. #31272305 and #31472058). NC acknowledges funding from the RAPIDD program of the Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, and the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, USA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Fürst
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Puangrat Yongvanit
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Narong Khuntikeo
    • 5
    • 6
    • 8
  • Zhao-Rong Lun
    • 9
  • Juanita A. Haagsma
    • 10
  • Paul R. Torgerson
    • 11
  • Peter Odermatt
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christine Bürli
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nakul Chitnis
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paiboon Sithithaworn
    • 5
    • 6
    • 12
  1. 1.Centre for Health PolicyImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Disease EpidemiologyImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Swiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteBaselSwitzerland
  4. 4.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Cholangiocarcinoma Research InstituteKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  6. 6.Cholangiocarcinoma Screening and Care ProgramKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  7. 7.Department of BiochemistryKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  8. 8.Department of SurgeryKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  9. 9.Center for Parasitic Organisms, State Key Laboratory of BiocontrolSchool of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  10. 10.Department of Public HealthErasmus University Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands
  11. 11.Section of Veterinary EpidemiologyUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  12. 12.Department of ParasitologyKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand

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