Few reports exist upon the occurrence and localization of zoonotic anisakid nematodes in T. sagittatus, especially in the mantle of the squid. The occurrence and site of infection of larval anisakids in 98 T. sagittatus caught West off St. Kilda, NE Atlantic Ocean, were investigated. Squids were examined for anisakids using the UV-Press method. In total, 689 nematodes were detected in the viscera and mantle. According to morphology, all the larvae (L) were assigned to genus Anisakis. Diagnostic allozymes and mtDNA cox2 sequence analysis permitted to genetically identify all larvae as Anisakis simplex (s.s.) (N = 100). Overall prevalence (P = 81%) and mean intensity (mI = 8.6) of infection with A. simplex are provided. Most of the larvae present in the mantle cavity were embedded in the stomach wall or attached in the outer layer of the stomach and caecum (49%). Over a third of squids (37%) hosted A. simplex (s.s.) larvae in the mantle. A novel schematized representation of larvae distribution in the mantle is provided, showing where they were mostly located. According to the results obtained, the risk of anisakiasis associated with consumption of raw or undercooked T. sagittatus should be considered.
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