Liver fluke - a review


Liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) is a parasite affecting a range of livestock and other species.

Final hosts in which it can develop to sexual maturity include livestock such as sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, goats, alpacas and deer. Other species include kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, and humans.

People can be infected by eating water cress from creeks in fluke-infested country. Millions of sheep and cattle graze pastures where liver fluke is endemic, mainly in south-eastern Australia.

Liver fluke costs millions of dollars each year in lost production, stock deaths, and costs of treatment and prevention. As with many worms, most of the economic cost is associated with production losses from infections that may not be apparent.

Topics covered in this Primefact include:

  • Distribution of liver fluke
  • Lifecycle and biology
  • Host factors
  • Liver fluke disease (fasciolosis)
  • Treatment and prevention
  • Monitoring and diagnosis
  • Managing resistance


Primefact 813 Third Edition

Published: Sep 2017