Liver fluke or Clonorchis sinensis belongs to the class Trematoda, and the phylum Platyhelminthes. It dwells in the liver of humans and is predominantly found in the gall bladder and the common bile duct, feeding on the bile.
Liver fluke are the 3rd most widespread worm parasite in the world, and are rife in China, Taiwan, Japan and South East Asia.
How Is Liver Fluke Infection Caused In Humans?
The eggs of Clonorchis sinensis, that hold the miracidium which develop into adult, drift in fresh water till they are eaten by a snail. In the body of the snail, the miracidium hatch and grow inside the snail. The sporocyst is formed which in turn houses the asexual reproduction of the redia. Redia houses the asexual reproduction of cercaria. As a result there is exponential multiplication. Once the redia mature in the snail’s body, they then leave the snail and go in to the freshwater.
Then, as an alternative to waiting to be consumed by a host, they seek out a fish. They penetrate in to the fish’s body, and become parasites of the new host.
Inside the fish muscle, the cercaria produce metacercarial cyst shield to encapsulate their body. This protective cyst is helpful when the fish muscle is consumed by humans.
In humans, the acid-resistant protective cyst helps prevent digestion by the gastric acids, and permits the metacercaria to get to the small intestine. Then, they circumnavigate towards the liver, which is its last habitat. The parasite feeds on bile. In the human liver, the adult produces eggs every 1 – 30 seconds.
Liver Fluke Symptoms In Humans
By and large, the case may be asymptomatic; most clinical manifestations occur due to inflammation and sporadic blocks of the bile duct.
In an acute phase, there will be pain in the abdomen, along with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Long standing infection is seen as exhaustion, abdominal discomfort, and extreme loss of weight, diarrhea, and jaundice.
Investigations reveal inflammation, bile stasis, and occlusion of the bile duct, bacterial infection, peri-ductal fibrosis, and hyperplasia. Cancer is also known to develop in some cases.
Human Liver Fluke Infestation Diagnosis And Treatment
Prompt diagnosis and quick treatment are very crucial. Infection is chiefly recognized on identification of the parasites eggs by microscopic examination of the feces or their presence in the duodenal aspirate. Most health care providers will recommend ELISA to diagnose the condition quickly and precisely, and it has become the most important clinical technique.
Diagnosis by detecting DNAs from eggs in feces are also developed using PCR, real-time PCR, and LAMP; these are very sensitive and highly precise.
- Drugs used to treat infestation include albendazole, mebendazole, triclabendazole, and levamisole. Recently, tribendimidine has been approved as an efficient and safe drug to manage liver fluke successfully.
- What’s more, you need to maintain a healthy and wholesome diet. Cut down on fatty and greasy food to manage jaundice better. Have 2 to 5 flakes of garlic every day to manage parasitic as well bacterial infections. Furthermore, garlic also boosts the immune mechanism.
- Have a glass of dandelion juice daily, it will perk up liver as well as biliary functioning appreciably.