Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Fasciola and fasciolosis in ruminants in Europe: identifying research needs.

Abstract

Fasciola hepatica is a trematode parasite with a global distribution, which is responsible for considerable disease and production losses in a range of food producing species. It is also identified by WHO as a re-emerging neglected tropical disease associated with endemic and epidemic outbreaks of disease in human populations. In Europe, F. hepatica is mostly associated with disease in sheep, cattle and goats. This study reviews the most recent advances in our understanding of the transmission, diagnosis, epidemiology and the economic impact of fasciolosis. We also focus on the impact of the spread of resistance to anthelmintics used to control F. hepatica and consider how vaccines might be developed and applied in the context of the immune-modulation driven by the parasite. Several major research gaps are identified which, when addressed, will contribute to providing focussed and where possible, bespoke, advice for farmers on how to integrate stock management and diagnosis with vaccination and/or targeted treatment to more effectively control the parasite in the face of increasing the prevalence of infection and spread of anthelmintic resistance that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change.