Light micrograph of liver fluke

Light micrograph of liver fluke

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Liver fluke. Light micrograph of a liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, a parasite of sheep, cattle and humans. The dark branched structures are the alimentary tract of the fluke. Humans ingest the fluke larvae by eating infested vegetation. Immature flukes migrate through the duodenum and into the bile ducts via the liver, where they ingest blood and tissue debris, mature, and 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: x1.5 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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