Abstract / Description of output
Fasciola gigantica and Fasciola hepatica are digenetic trematodes causing fasciolosis in ruminants. The host and geographical distribution of both Fasciola species are influenced by environmental and climatic conditions favouring survival and development of free-living stages and intermediate hosts, and livestock management practices. The aim of the present study was to describe the host distribution of the two Fasciola species in buffalo, cattle, goats, and sheep in the Balochistan and Punjab provinces of Pakistan. 359 flukes were collected from a total of 32 livers from the four livestock species. Deep amplicon sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region 2 of ribosomal DNA (rDNA ITS-2) and mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase 1 (mtDNA ND-1) loci confirmed co-infection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Balochistan and single species F. gigantica infection in Punjab. In Balochistan, co-infections and hybrids of both Fasciola species were identified in cattle, with more F. hepatica detected than F. gigantica. However, F. hepatica was the only species identified in goats, and F. gigantica was the only species identified in buffalo. In Punjab, all flukes were confirmed as F. gigantica in each of the four livestock species. Overall, the results indicate differences in the host and geographical distribution of F. gigantica and F. hepatica, and provide useful knowledge for the development of control strategies for livestock and humans.