Fasciolosis (also known as fascioliasis, fasciolasis, distomatosis and liver rot) is a parasitic worm infection caused by the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica as well as by Fasciola gigantica. The disease is a plant-borne trematode zoonosis, and is classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease.
Symptoms: Fever: usually the first symptom of the disease; 40-42 ?C Abdominal pain Gastrointestinal disturbances: loss of appetite, flatulence, nausea, diarrhoea Urticaria Respiratory symptoms (very rare): cough, dyspnoea, chest pain, hemoptysis Hepatomegaly and splenomegaly Ascites Anaemia Jaundice.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis of fasciolosis is usually achieved parasitologically by findings the fluke eggs in stool, and immunologically by ELISA and Western blot. These immunological tests are based on detection of species-specific antibodies from sera. Ultrasonography and xray of the abdominal cavity, biopsy of liver, and gallbladder punctuate can also be used.
Treament: The drug of choice in the treatment of fasciolosis is triclabendazole, a member of the benzimidazole family of anthelmintics. The drug works by preventing the polymerization of the molecule tubulin into the cytoskeletal structures, microtubules. Praziquantel treatment is ineffective. There are case reports of nitazoxanide being successfully used in human fasciolosis treatment in Mexico.
Epidemology: The incidence of human cases has been increasing in 51 countries of the five continents. A global analysis shows that the expected correlation between animal and human fasciolosis only appears at a basic level. High prevalences in humans are not necessarily found in areas where fasciolosis is a great veterinary problem. For instance, in South America, hyperendemics and mesoendemics are found in Bolivia and Peru where the veterinary problem is less important, while in countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, human fasciolosis is only sporadic or hypoendemic.