Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

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Fasciola hepatica



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"liver fluke"       

Distribution: worldwide. A similar species, F. gigantica, is also found in Africa, Asia and Hawaii.       

Host: Adults in the bile ducts of cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, and a variety of other  animals, including dogs, horses, and humans.  

Life Cycle: Miracidia hatch from the eggs and invade an appropriate snail host. Cercariae emerging  from the snail encyst on vegetation and are ingested by host animals. Larvae leave the gastrointestinal tract and migrate through the liver to reach the bile ducts.             

Diagnosis: Large brown eggs are detected using a sedimentation procedure. Eggs may be diffcult to detect and not indicative of the level of infection in a herd. A commercially available apparatus, the Flukefinder, simplifies the sedimentation procedure.

Size: 130–150 × 63–90 µm, regular ellipse, thin shell, operculum at one pole, granular yellowish-brown contents filling whole egg.         

Clinical features: Fasciola infections in ruminants may cause signifcant production losses.  Sheep are particularly susceptible, and heavy infection may be fatal. Chronically infected animals  can develop anemia and unthriftiness.                



Fasciola hepatica egg
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