Light micrograph of liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica

Light micrograph of liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica

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Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Liver fluke. Light micrograph of an adult liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, a parasite of sheep, cattle & humans. Humans ingest the fluke larvae by eating infested vegetation. Immature flukes penetrate the intestinal wall & pass into the bile ducts via the liver. They mature whilst ingesting blood & tissue debris. About 3 or 4 months after infection the flukes produce eggs which pass into the faeces, & so pass out of the body to contami- nate 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: x6 at 35mm size.

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

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