Candiru – a little fish with bad habits: Need travel health professionals worry? A review

Bauer, Irmgard (2013) Candiru – a little fish with bad habits: Need travel health professionals worry? A review. Journal of Travel Medicine, 20 (2). pp. 119-124.

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Abstract

Background: Over the last 150 years, a little South American fish with alleged unsavory habits has become the stuff legends are made of. With growing visitor numbers to the Amazon basin, the question of whether the animal poses a threat to the many travelers to the region arises.

Methods: Scientific literature was identified by searching MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, ProQuest and Google Scholar. The reference lists of all obtained sources served to refine the search, including the original historical writings where obtainable. Non-scientific material was discovered through extensive web searches.

Results: First, the current popular understanding of the fish and its interaction with humans are presented followed by an overview of the historical literature on which this understanding is based. Next, the fish and its supposed attraction to humans are introduced. Finally, this review queries the evidence current medical advice utilizes for the prevention of attacks and the treatment of unfortunate hosts.

Conclusions: Until evidence of the fish's threat to humans is forthcoming, there seems to be no need for considering the candiru in health advice for travelers to the Amazon.

Item ID: 24814
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1195-1982
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 00:53
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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