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Fasciola gigantica in Ruminants

(Giant liver fluke)

By Lora R. Ballweber, MS, DVM, Professor, Clinical Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University

Fasciola gigantica is similar in shape to Fasciola hepatica but is longer (75 mm), with less clearly defined shoulders, and is 12 mm wide. It is found in warmer climates (Asia, Africa) in cattle and buffalo, in which it is responsible for chronic fasciolosis, and in sheep, in which the disease is frequently acute and fatal. The life cycle is similar to that of F hepatica, except most parasitic phases are longer, the prepatent period is 10–16 wk, and the species of snail intermediate hosts are different. The pathology of infection, diagnostic procedures, and control measures are similar to those for F hepatica (see Fasciola hepatica in Ruminants).