Infestation with Fasciola species, especially Fasciola hepatica
Fascioliasis refers to an infestation with a species of the genus Fasciola, such as Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. In humans, the initial symptoms include fever, nausea, swollen liver, skin rashes, and abdominal pain. When the worms reach maturity in the bile duct, the symptoms are intermittent pain, jaundice, and anemia. Fascioliasis is classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease.1 There are four main phases of fascioliasis in humans: incubation phase (few days to 3 months, i.e. starting from the ingestion of metacercariae), acute phase (i.e. the bile duct invasion of fluke), latent phase (i.e. the asymptomatic phase that can last for months or years), and chronic phase (i.e. the obstructive phase).
In cattle and sheep, the infestation can lead to persistent diarrhea, chronic weight loss, anemia, and reduced milk production.1 Chronic fascioliasis can lead to the inflammation of bile ducts and gall bladder. It can lead to the death of the sheep and livestock from complications and lack of appropriate treatment.
The causative agents of fascioliasis make use of mammals, especially cattle and sheep, as their definitive host. Humans may also be infested with these worms. They may be acquired by ingesting aquatic plants or vegetation contaminated with encysted larvae (i.e. metacercariae). Their intermediate host is freshwater snail, e.g. Lymnaea spp.
- liver fluke disease
- liver rot
1 Fasciola hepatica. Retrieved from [].