The main fish host reaction to an infection with third stage anisakid nematode larvae is a response in which host immune cells (macrophages, granulocytes, lymphocytes) in affected internal organs initially are attracted to the parasite whereafter fibroblasts may enclose the parasite forming granuloma. Generally, the reaction is non-lethal to the parasite which may survive for years in the fish host retaining infectivity to the final host. This may also apply for the anisakid nematode Contracaecum rudolphii (having the adult stage in cormorants, using copepods as first intermediate/paratenic host and zooplankton feeding fish as paratenic hosts). The present study has shown that most Contracaecum rudolphii larvae survive in bream (Abramis brama) (from Lake Balaton, Hungary) whereas the majority of the nematode larvae die in Cyprinus carpio (from Lake Hévíz, directly connected to Lake Balaton). Both cyprinid host species interacted with the nematode larvae through establishing a marked cellular encapsulation around them but with different effects. The differential survival in common carp and bream may theoretically be explained by ecological factors, such as the environmental temperature which either directly or indirectly affect the development of nematode larvae, and/or intrinsic host factors, such as differential immune responses and host genetics.