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The life cycle of liver-fluke and its economic importance


The life cycle of liver-fluke

What is liver fluke

The liver-fluke is a flattened leaf-like endo-parasite. It is brown in colour and about 2cm long. The liver-fluke is an Endo-parasite of farm animals like cattle, sheep and goat.
The primary host of the liver-fluke are farm animals while the Snail (Limnaea truncatula) is the secondary host.




THE LIFE CYCLE OF LIVER-FLUKE

Fertilized eggs of liver flukes are passed out together with faeces. During favourable conditions, the eggs hatch into ciliated larvae called miracidia. Each miracidium swims in water and is attracted to water snail which is the secondary host. It enters the body of the snail during which it loses its cilia and changes to a SPOROCYST and produces asexually to give rise to new larvae called REDIAE.

The REDIA

comes out of the SPOROCYST and goes to the digestive gland where it develops into a minute worm called CERCARIAE. The cercaria leaves the body of the snail and swim about in water until it finds a suitable host when animals come to drink dirty waters.
At times, the larvae may leave the host snail and encyst on vegetation. From there, they are ingested by grassing animals. The CERCARIAE penetrates the skin and tissues to enter the blood stream, and then to the liver tissue and finally to the bile duct where they firmly and finally settle down and develop into adult LIVER FLUKE
HERE IS A DIAGRAM OF THE LIFE CYCLE OF LIVER FLUKE


What are the economic importance of LIVER FLUKE?

The economic importance of liver fluke are as follows
1. Liver fluke causes a disease called BILHARZIA OR SCHISTOSOMIASIS.
2. Liver fluke affects the digestion of food of animals
3. The excretory products of liver fluke have a poisoning effect on the sheep
4. The liver fluke also results in liver rot, leading to drowsiness and death





How to control liver the spread of liver fluke

Liver fluke can be control in the following ways
1. Drain pasture properly since wet pasture can harbouir snail
2. Introduce ducks and geese to eat up the snails
3. Use lime on pasture because the eggs of liver fluke do not hatch in water containing high level of alkaline.


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