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Morphology and molecular study of Fascioloides magna – a growing threat to cervids (Cervidae) in Poland

Houszka, Marek, Piekarska, Jolanta, Podkowik, Magdalena, Gorczykowski, Michał, Bania, Jacek
Journal of Veterinary Research 2016 v.60 no.4 pp. 435-439
Capreolus capreolus, Cervus dama, Cervus elaphus, Fascioloides magna, eggs, histopathology, hosts, internal transcribed spacers, liver, liver cirrhosis, liver flukes, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, Poland
Introduction: The giant liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, has spread across Europe over the years posing a serious threat to the Polish cervid population. Material and Methods: Macroscopic and histopathological studies of the liver of 22 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 10 red deer (Cervus elaphus), and 6 fallow deer (Dama dama) were performed. Species determination of the recovered liver flukes and eggs was performed by PCR protocol amplifying fragments of ribosomal DNA (ITS2), according to a standard method. Results: The presence of F. magna was confirmed in three (13.6%) roe deer, seven (70.0%) red deer, and two (33.3%) fallow deer. The fluke eggs were found only in the stools of five red deer and one fallow deer. Conclusion: This study presents detailed pathological and histopathological changes in the liver of wild Polish cervids, including roe deer, which were subjected to such study for the first time. The hepatic lesions typical for different stages of liver cirrhosis varied depending on the host species and stage of the disease.