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Phenotypic analysis of adults and eggs of Fasciola hepatica by computer image analysis system

  • M.A. Valero (a1), M. Panova (a1) and S. Mas-Coma (a1)


Knowledge of the morphological phenotypes of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda: Digenea) is analysed. The influence of parasite age on its dimensions, the adult fluke growth model, variation in a biometric variable versus time, and variation in a biometric variable versus another biometric variable (allometric model) are revised. The most useful allometric model appears to be (y2m]#x2212;y2)/y2=c [(y1m−y1)/y1]b, where y1=body area or body length, y2=one of the measurements analysed, y1m, y2m=maximum values towards which y1 and y2, respectively, tend, and c, b=constants. A method based on material standardization, the measurement proposal and allometric analysis is detailed. A computer image analysis system (CIAS), which includes a colour video-camera connected to a stereomicroscope (for adult studies) and a microscope (for egg studies), facilitates the processing of digital imaging. Examples of its application for the analysis of the influence of different factors on the liver fluke phenotype are shown using material from the Northern Bolivian Altiplano, where human and domestic animal fascioliasis is caused by F. hepatica only. Comparisons between the development of livestock fluke populations from highlands and lowlands are discussed and the relationships between host species and liver fluke morphometric patterns is analysed.


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Phenotypic analysis of adults and eggs of Fasciola hepatica by computer image analysis system

  • M.A. Valero (a1), M. Panova (a1) and S. Mas-Coma (a1)


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