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Int J Parasitol. 1997 Jul;27(7):775-9.

Zoonotic potential of infection with Fasciola spp. by consumption of freshly prepared raw liver containing immature flukes.

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National Institute of Animal Health, Ibaraki, Japan.


Mice were successfully infected with metacercariae of the Japanese Fasciola sp., resulting in the recovery of a mean number of 110 live immature flukes per mouse 4-5 days after inoculation. Twenty-four mice were then inoculated orally, each with a mean number of 68 freshly recovered immature flukes. The livers of 7 of the 24 recipient mice showed migratory lesions of capsular and subcapsular granulomatous infiltration and 2 of those mice also had haemorrhagic lesions. The lesions were typical of those caused by active migration of early immature flukes. However, no flukes were found in the livers of the recipient mice at necropsy when the flukes were aged 14 weeks. In another experiment, 10 piglets were given fresh livers of mice harbouring approximately 2000 live immature flukes aged 3-7 days. Two additional piglets were inoculated with 2000 metacercariae of Fasciola. All pigs were killed when the flukes were 14 days old. Granulomatous lesions were present in all pigs, except in those that were given livers containing flukes aged 7 days. The lesions were localized, forming well-defined foci, different from the typical migratory lesions normally observed in mouse or sheep liver at the early stage of fluke migration. From the 10 pigs given livers, 65 live flukes were recovered at necropsy, 0.29% of the estimated number of immature flukes given. From the 2 pigs which received 2000 metacercariae each, a total of 198 flukes were recovered (5%). The results of the experiments suggest that humans consuming raw liver dishes prepared from fresh livers infected with immature Fasciola spp. could become infected with liver fluke.

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