Fluke in sheep's liver, light micrograph

Fluke in sheep's liver, light micrograph

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fluke in sheep's liver. Light micrograph of an adult liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica, pink and white, centre) embedded in a sheep's liver (red). Sheep, cattle and humans can ingest the fluke larvae by eating infested vegetation. Immature flukes penetrate the intestines & pass into the liver. Here, a fibrotic capsule (pale pink) has formed around the fluke while it matures by ingesting blood & tissue debris. About 3-4 months after infection, the fluke produces eggs which pass into the faeces, and so pass out of the body to contaminate lakes and streams. The eggs hatch to release larvae which infect aquatic snails and then move from these to become encysted on aquatic vegetation, forming the next infective stage. Magnification: x5 when printed 10cm wide.

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