Light micrograph of liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica

Light micrograph of liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Liver flukes. Light micrograph of liver flukes, Fasciola hepatica, parasites of sheep, cattle & humans. The dark branched structures are the alimentary tracts of the flukes. Humans ingest the fluke larvae by eating infested vegetation. Immature flukes migrate through the duodenum & into the bile ducts via the liver, where they ingest blood & tissue debris, mature, & lay eggs. These pass into the faeces which may contaminate lakes and streams. The eggs hatch to release larvae which infect certain snails. A free- swimming form released from the snails becomes encysted on aquatic vegetation, forming the next infective stage. Magnification: x1 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: animal, fasciola hepatic, fasciola hepatica, flatworm, fluke, human, invertebrate, invertebrates, liver, liver fluke, nature, parasite, platyhelminthes, wildlife, zoology

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