Fascioliasis is a parasitic infection typically caused by Fasciola hepatica, which is also known as "the common liver fluke" or "the sheep liver fluke." A related parasite, Fasciola gigantica, also can infect people. Fascioliasis is caused by two species of parasitic flatworms or trematodes that mainly affect the liver. The two species of trematodes that cause fascioliasis (Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica) are leaf-shaped worms, large enough to be visible to the naked eye (adult F. hepatica measure 20–30 mm x 13 mm; adult F. gigantica measure 25–75 mm x 12 mm).
Typical symptoms of Acute phase include fever, nausea, a swollen liver, skin rashes and extreme abdominal pain. Symptoms in Chronic phase, include intermittent pain, jaundice and anaemia. Pancreatitis, gallstones and bacterial super-infections may also occur. Patients with chronic infections experience hardening of the liver (fibrosis) as a result of the long-term inflammation.
Confirmation relies on different types of diagnostic techniques.
parasitological techniques to detect Fasciola eggs in stool samples;
immunological techniques to detect worm-specific antibodies in serum samples or worm-specific antigens in serum or stool samples;
molecular techniques such as the polymerase chain reaction.