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Liver Fluke

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Liver fluke is a parasitic flatworm from the Trematoda class with the scientific name Fasciola hepatica. These organisms are known to infect the livers of many mammals, including humans, resulting in fascioliasis. Liver flukes have a complex life cycle that includes several hosts, primarily snails and mammals. The life cycle starts with the discharge of fluke eggs in the host's feces. These eggs hatch into larvae called miracidia, which infect a specific variety of snail. Inside the snail, the larvae go through a series of developmental phases before becoming cercariae, which is the infective form for mammals. Cercariae are discharged from the snail and settle on vegetation. When a creature, such as a sheep or cow, consumes infected vegetation, the cysts release immature flukes that enter the intestinal wall and travel through the body to the liver. Once within the liver, the flukes mature and begin feeding on the host's blood, causing damage to the liver tissue. The adult flukes lay eggs, which are then transported out of the host via feces, completing the life cycle. In humans, infection is caused by the consumption of infected water or food, such as aquatic plants. Fascioliasis symptoms can range from minor to severe, including abdominal pain, fever, and liver dysfunction. Chronic infections can cause more significant consequences, including bile duct blockage and liver fibrosis. Improving sanitation, limiting the intake of raw aquatic plants, and taking antiparasitic drugs are all steps toward controlling liver fluke infections. Anthelmintic medications are frequently used in veterinary medicine to treat infected animals. Liver fluke infestations are a major economic and public health hazard in many parts of the world, especially in areas where animal raising is common. Research efforts remain focused on establishing effective preventative techniques and treatment alternatives to reduce the impact of liver fluke infections on both human and animal populations.