The Liver Fluke Parasite: How You Can Get Infected - Photo

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The Liver Fluke Parasite: How You Can Get Infected - Photo
The Liver Fluke Parasite: How You Can Get Infected - Photo

Video: The Liver Fluke Parasite: How You Can Get Infected - Photo

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Video: What is Fasciolopsiasis ( Fasciola Infections ) 2023, February

Hepatic fluke is a parasite that lives in almost all parts of the world. It is registered in Africa, North and South America, Australia and Asia. Mostly found in temperate climates. Too much heat, like severe frosts, are not suitable for these trematodes. Hepatic fluke or hepatic fasciola, when developing in the human body, causes a dangerous disease - fascioliasis. To protect yourself from this parasite, you first need to know how you can get it.


  • 1 Life cycle
  • 2 Human infection
  • 3 Symptoms of fascioliasis
  • 4 How to prevent infection

Life cycle

In the life cycle of the hepatic fluke, there are two stages: mature and immature. Sexually mature is called marita and is a hermaphroditic form, that is, parasites do not have sexual separation at this stage.

The liver fluke marita is incredibly fertile: in just a week it can produce a million eggs. This occurs in the liver of the host animal. At the same time, fasciola populates the liver, gallbladder and its ducts.

The owners of maritas are vertebrates, as a rule, these are domestic species of cattle: sheep, goats and cows. Together with the faeces of these vertebrates, numerous eggs are released into the environment, getting into the ground and water.


Further development of the eggs of the parasite is possible only in fresh water. In order for the larva to grow, it needs a water temperature in the range of 22-29 ° C. This condition is observed only in the smallest bodies of water or in the coastal zone of lakes, ponds, swamps and river backwaters.

In warm water, in 2.5-3 weeks, the larva develops into miracidium, the next form of the life cycle of the liver fluke. After completion of development, she has only a few hours to get into the body of an intermediate host - a small pond snail. This happens right across the surface of the mollusk's body. Inside the pond snail, the miracidium gets rid of the cilia that helped it float in the water and turns into a sporocyst. Inside this sporocyst, redia, the next generation of fluke, mature.

When they become large enough, the cyst membrane bursts and the redia come out. Migrating through the tissues, they reach the liver, where they spend 30-70 days. After that, a new generation is born from the redia - cercariae. These organisms leave the body of the intermediate host and swim towards the coast, where they try to attach to coastal herbaceous plants. They are enclosed in a capsule so as not to dry out, and remain in this state until the moment when the grass is eaten by a ruminant.


Inside the stomach of its permanent host, the parasite emerges from the membrane and migrates through the tissues until it reaches the liver.

Human infection

For the hepatic fluke, horned vertebrates are the final host. But sometimes a person becomes infected. This is a rare occurrence. In this case, parasitologists say that man is the wrong host for this fluke.

Infection of people is most often diagnosed in Moldova, Belarus, Central America, etc.

The conditions of the human body for the hepatic fluke are not as ideal as in the body of cattle, but the development of this parasite in humans is also possible. Infection usually occurs in one of two ways:

  • when eating raw grass or algae;
  • when swallowing cercariae released from pond snails together with raw water while bathing or quenching thirst.

In the stomach or intestines, the parasite leaves the cyst and penetrates the mucous membrane, moving along the abdominal cavity towards the liver. Reaching this organ, the maritas settle in passages, which they themselves eat up in the hepatic parenchyma. After about 2 months, they descend into the bile ducts, where they continue to grow for a couple of months. After this period is over, they become sexually mature and can continue to reproduce.

In the human body, the hepatic fluke can live from 10 months to a decade. Its presence causes a dangerous disease - fascioliasis.

A patient suffering from this disease is not contagious and does not pose a danger to the people around him, since the disease is not transmitted by household contact or airborne droplets.

Fascioliasis symptoms

A mandatory sign of fascioliasis is a violation of the outflow or secretion of bile. This leads to mild or severe yellowness of the skin and eye sclera.

The main clinical manifestations are caused by malfunctions of the liver and the entire hepatobiliary system. Fascioliasis can take two forms of the course: acute and chronic.

In the acute phase, the following manifestations are possible:

  • symptoms of general intoxication;
  • increased body temperature up to fever;
  • scattered abdominal pain of varying intensity;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • destabilization of the nervous system with toxins released by parasites and damaged hepatocytes;
  • tachycardia;
  • pain in the chest area;
  • hives;
  • nausea and vomiting.

In the chronic form, the presence of the hepatic fluke causes less severe symptoms. First, there are attacks of sharp pain in the right side of the peritoneum, then the yellowing of the skin gradually worsens. A common symptom is digestive disorders that worsen after a person eats fatty foods. Sometimes a prolonged slight increase in body temperature is possible.

How to prevent infection

There are no specific or medical methods for preventing infection of this parasite, so you need to adhere to the general recommendations of parasitologists to prevent fascioliasis:

  • plants of reservoirs that are used for food should be kept in a solution of potassium permanganate or vinegar for half an hour before cooking;
  • do not drink water from reservoirs, if it has not been previously boiled.

Immunity to this parasite is not formed even after a person has already suffered from fascioliasis. Immunoprophylaxis has also not been developed.

To prevent infection, veterinary monitoring of the condition of livestock is carried out in places where the hepatic fluke may live.

Read also:

  • How to get tested for parasites in the body
  • Horsehair is a parasite in humans
  • Distinctive features of the structure of the hermaphroditic proglottid

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