An unserious exploration of seafood parasites
What I want to do
Explore non-mutual symbiotic relationships between species and investigate their occurrence in common grocery products.
Background: Anisakiasis is a human parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood containing larvae of the nematode Anisakis simplex. It is frequently reported in areas of the world where fish is consumed raw, lightly pickled or salted. The areas of highest prevalence are Scandinavia (from cod livers), Japan (after eating sushi and sashimi), the Netherlands (by eating infected fermented herrings (maatjes)), and along the Pacific coast of South America (from eating ceviche). Fewer than ten cases occur annually in the United States.
My attempt and results
Combating the myth of "sushi-grade salmon." Over the course of six months, I will consume 22.8 lbs of raw salmon per week from the local C-mart, skewing for samples that are past their expiration date. Initial results are quite promising!
Human defense mechanisms: Should the parasite enter the body, the immune system is a vertebrate’s major defense against parasitic invasion. My hypothesis is that the normal human immunological response may be suppressed by higher-than-average levels of consumption.
Initial test and experimentation: The following test was run on 11/13/2014 at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) as part of the Public Lab's annual barnraising event:
Questions and next steps
Clearly this experiment needs to be replicated.