Folia Parasitologica, vol. 47 (2000), issue 1

Folia Parasitologica 47[1] 17-22 (2000) | 10.14411/fp.2000.004

Comparative infectivity of Fasciola hepatica metacercariae from isolates of the main and secondary reservoir animal host species in the Bolivian Altiplano high human endemic region

María Adela Valero, Santiago Mas-Coma
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Valencia, Av. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjassot - Valencia, Spain

Fascioliasis due to Fasciola hepatica (Linnaeus, 1758) is an endemic disease on the Northern Bolivian Altiplano, where human prevalences and intensities are the highest known, sheep and cattle are the main reservoir hosts, and pigs and donkeys the secondary ones. Investigations were carried out to study the viability of metacercariae experimentally obtained from eggs shed by naturally infected Altiplanic sheep, cattle, pigs and donkeys. A total of 157 Wistar rats were infected with doses of 5, 10, 20 and 150 metacercariae. Metacercariae aged for different number of weeks were used to analyse the influence of age on their viability. The number of worms successfully developed in each rat was established by dissection. Results obtained show that metacercarial infectivity is dependent upon storage time, being lower when metacercariae are older. The maximum longevity is 31 weeks using doses of 20 metacercariae per rat and 48 weeks with 150 metacercariae per rat, although in the latter case only a very low percentage of worms is recovered. Age-related infectivity of metacercariae from Altiplanic F. hepatica does not significantly differ from that of the liver fluke in lowlands of other countries. Concerning the influence of the isolate according to host species, results indicate that metacercarial viabilities of pig and donkey isolates are similar to the viabilities of metacercariae of sheep and cattle isolates. Thus, pig and donkey have a high transmission potential capacity concerning this aspect. This fact is of great importance for the control of human and animal fascioliasis in this highly endemic zone.

Keywords: Fasciola hepatica, metacercariae, Bolivian Altiplano, viability, age, sheep, cattle, pig, donkey, laboratory rat

Received: April 2, 1999; Accepted: July 21, 1999; Published: March 1, 2000


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