Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:36 am Post subject: A Silly Myth Finally Broken
Bauer, IL, 2013. Candiru—A little fish with bad habits: need travel health professionals worry? A review. Journal of Travel Medicine. doi: 10.1111/jtm.12005
Background. Over the last 150 years, a little South American ?sh 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. Scienti?c literature was identi?ed by searching MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, ProQuest, and Google Scholar. The
reference lists of all obtained sources served to re?ne the search, including the original historical writings where obtainable.
Nonscienti?c material was discovered through extensive web searches.
Results. First, the current popular understanding of the ?sh and its interaction with humans are presented followed by an
overview of the historical literature on which this understanding is based. Next,the ?sh 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 ?sh’s threat to humans is forthcoming,there appears to be no need for considering the candiru
in health advice for travelers to the Amazon
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