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Fasciola hepatica

Fasciola hepatica is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Trematode (fluke) infection contracted in sheep/goat raising areas in temperate climates with human as accidental host.
  • Requires aquatic snail as intermediate host (e.g., Lymnaea truncatula).
    • Cercariae spread to water and encyst as metacercariae on vegetation.
    • Infection occurs by eating uncooked foods such as watercress or food made with contaminated water.
  • F. hepatica and F. gigantica are the major human pathogens.
  • F. gigantica is restricted to Africa and Asia whereas F. hepatica is found in all five continents.
    • Highest rates of F. hepatica infection have been reported from Bolivia, Peru, Egypt, Iran, Portugal, and France.
  • Life cycle: [Fig 1]
    • Herbivore (sheep or goat) sheds eggs in feces
    • Eggs hatch as ciliated miracidia
    • Miracidia infect snails
    • Miracidia hatch to cercaria
    • Cercaria shed by snails and encyst on plants ("metacercaria")
    • Humans/herbivores ingest plants
    • Cysts hatch in small intestine and burrow through intestinal wall
    • Peritoneal metacercaria burrow through liver wall
    • Metacercaria mature in liver over 2-4 months (end of acute phase)
    • Migration to biliary ducts to begin chronic obstructive phase
    • Eggs shed in feces

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Last updated: October 24, 2016


Fabre, Valeria. "Fasciola Hepatica." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2016. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540220/all/Fasciola_hepatica.
Fabre V. Fasciola hepatica. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540220/all/Fasciola_hepatica. Accessed April 19, 2019.
Fabre, V. (2016). Fasciola hepatica. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540220/all/Fasciola_hepatica
Fabre V. Fasciola Hepatica [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. [cited 2019 April 19]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540220/all/Fasciola_hepatica.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Fasciola hepatica ID - 540220 A1 - Fabre,Valeria,M.D. Y1 - 2016/10/24/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540220/all/Fasciola_hepatica PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -