Korean J Parasitol.  2015 Dec;53(6):683-688. 10.3347/kjp.2015.53.6.683.

Molecular Identification of Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense from 3 Human Cases in Heilongjiang Province with a Brief Literature Review in China

  • 1Department of Parasitology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. zhangxiaoli1125@126.com
  • 2Department of Neurology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Qiqihar Medical University, Qiqihar, Heilongjiang, China.
  • 3Department of Animal Health Supervision, Heilongjiang Provincial Bureau of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.


Human diphyllobothriasis is a widespread fish-borne zoonosis caused by the infection with broad tapeworms belonging to the genus Diphyllobothrium. In mainland China, so far 20 human cases of Diphyllobothrium infections have been reported, and the etiologic species were identified as D. latum and D. nihonkaiense based on morphological characteristics or molecular analysis. In the present study, proglottids of diphyllobothriid tapeworms from 3 human cases that occurred in Heilongjiang Province, China were identified as D. nihonkaiense by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (nad5) genes. Two different cox1 gene sequences were obtained. One sequence showed 100% homology with those from humans in Japan. The remaining cox1 gene sequence and 2 different nad5 gene sequences obtained were not described previously, and might reflect endemic genetic characterizations. D. nihonkaiense might also be a major causative species of human diphyllobothriasis in China. Meanwhile, the finding of the first pediatric case of D. nihonkaiense infection in China suggests that infants infected with D. nihonkaiense should not be ignored.


Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense; molecular identification; human; cox1 gene; nad5 gene
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