Skip to main content Accessibility help

Morphological variability in Fasciola hepatica eggs in ruminants, rodents and lagomorphs

  • M. Abrous (a1), A.M. Comes (a2), N. Gasnier (a2) (a3), D. Rondelaud (a1), G. Dreyfuss (a4), A. Chauvin (a5), A. Ménard (a5), A. Agoulon (a5) and J. Cabaret (a2)...


The length and width of 1297 Fasciola hepatica eggs shed in cattle hosts, 337 in sheep and 199 in nutria, were measured from several parts of France. The data were compared with those obtained from other studies in Spain, France (where rats were also investigated), Germany and the Netherlands. One way analysis of variance and discriminant analysis were used to assess differences between host origins. The distribution of length and width of eggs were analysed using skewness and kurtosis Fisher coefficients. The eggs recovered from sheep, cattle, rodents and lagomorphs were different in size: the eggs found in rodents (length L × width W in μm: 8592) and lagomorphs (L × W in μm: 9100) were smaller than those found in sheep and cattle (L×W in μm: 10,000). These morphological differences in F. hepatica eggs were host-induced in rats (L×W in μm: 9709 in cattle to 8949 in rats) and rabbits (L×W in μm: 9709 in cattle to 8432 in rabbits). These differences in size of eggs might correspond to their being less able to develop into miracidia in less frequent hosts such as rodents and rabbits.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence. Fax: 33 2 47427774 E-mail:


Hide All
Almeda, J., Ascaso, C., Marçal, G.A., Corachan, M., Southgate, V.R. & Rollinson, D. (1996) Morphometric variability of Schistosoma intercalatum eggs: a diagnostic dilemna. Journal of Helminthology 70, 97102.
Boray, J.C. (1969) Experimental fasciolasis in Australia. Advances in Parasitology 7, 96210.
Comes, A.M. (1994) Estudio de la cronobiología de emisión, embrionación y morfometría del huevo de Fasciola hepatica (Linnaeus, 1758) (Trematoda: Fasciolidae) en parasitaciones naturales y experimentales. 380 pp. Tesis doctoral, Facultad de Ciencias biologicas, Universidad de Valencia.
Delecole, J.P. (1981) Le ragondin et la douve. Bulletin de la Société Vétérinaire Pratique 64, 391392.
Düwel, D. (1972) Aussergewöhnlich grosse Eier eines Fasciola hepatica Stammes. Second International Symposium of Helminthology (Tatranska Lomnica, 1970) Helminthologia. 9.
Haroun, E.M. & Hillyer, G.V. (1986) Resistance to fasciolasis. A review. Veterinary Parasitology 20, 6393.
Harvey, P.H. & Pagel, H.D. (1991) The comparative method in evolutionary biology, in May, R.M. & Harvey, P.H. (Eds) Oxford series in Ecology and Evolution.
Holmes, R.G. (1962) Fasciolasis in coypus (Myocastor coypus). Veterinary Record 74, 1552.
Jansen, J. (1972). New cases of Fasciola hepatica with large eggs. International Journal for Parasitology 2, 281282.
Jansen, J. & Over, J.H. (1963) On a remarkable strain of Fasciola hepatica in Netherlands. Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde 88, 770775.
Jimenez, M. & Guevara, D. (1977) Estudios experimentales sobre biologia de Fasciola hepatica. 1. Numero y viabilidad de los huevos de Fasciola hepatica hallados en vesicula biliar de vaca, oveja y cabra. Revista Ibérica de Parasitologia 37, 291300.
Lee, C.G., Zimmerman, G.L. & Bishop, J.K. (1992) Host influence on the banding profiles of whole-body protein and excretory-secretory product of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda) by isoelectric focusing. Veterinary Parasitology 41, 5768.
Mas-Coma, S., Fons, R., Feliu, C., Bargues, M.D., Valero, M.A. & Galan Puchades, M.T. (1987) Conséquences des phénomènes liés à l'insularité dans les maladies parasitaires. La grande Douve du Foie (Fasciola hepatica) et les Muridés en Corse. Bulletin de la Société Neuchâteloise de Sciences Naturelles 110, 5762.
Olsen, O.W. (1948) Wild rabbits as reservoir hosts of the common liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, in southern Texas. Journal of Parasitology 2, 119123.
Palmieri, J. (1977) Host-induced morphological variations in the strigeoid trematode Posthodiplostomum (Trematoda: Diplostomatidae). IV: Organs of reproduction (ovary and testes), vitelline gland and egg. Great Basin Naturalist 37, 475482.
Perez Ponce de Leon, G. (1995) Host-induced morphological variability in adult Posthodiplostomum minimum (Digenea: Neodiplostomidae). Journal of Parasitology 81, 818820.
Reddington, J.J., Leid, R.W. & Westcott, R.B. (1986) The susceptibility of the goat to Fasciola hepatica infections. Veterinary Parasitology 19, 145150.
Rondelaud, D. & Dreyfuss, G. (1995) Fasciola hepatica: the influence of the definitive host on the characteristics of infection in the snail Lymnaea truncatula. Parasite 2, 275280.
Schmalhausen, I.I. (1949) Factors of evolution. University of Chicago Press. Chicago.
Stunkard, H.W. (1957) Intraspecific variation in parasitic flatworms. Systematic Zoology 6, 718.
Tinar, R. (1984) Differentiation of Fasciola gigantica and Fasciola hepatica according to the dimensions of their eggs. Veteriner Fakültesi Dergisi, Ankara Universitesi 31, 207229.
Yamaguti, S. (1975) A synoptical review of life-histories of digenetic trematodes of vertebrates. Keigaku Publishing Co, Tokyo.
Yoccoz, N. (1993) Morphométrie et analyses multidimensionnelles. in Lebreton, J.D. & Asselain, B. (Eds) Biométrie et environnement. Masson éditeur, Paris.

Morphological variability in Fasciola hepatica eggs in ruminants, rodents and lagomorphs

  • M. Abrous (a1), A.M. Comes (a2), N. Gasnier (a2) (a3), D. Rondelaud (a1), G. Dreyfuss (a4), A. Chauvin (a5), A. Ménard (a5), A. Agoulon (a5) and J. Cabaret (a2)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed