Parasitology Research

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 278–282 | Cite as

Fasciola hepatica: epidemiological surveillance of natural watercress beds in central France

  • G. Dreyfuss
  • P. Vignoles
  • D. RondelaudEmail author
Original Paper


A total of 59 natural watercress beds in the Limousin region (central France) was surveyed over a 15-year period (1990–2004) to detect the contamination of watercress by the metacercariae of Fasciola hepatica and to determine the presence of larval forms in the two species of lymnaeids which live in these waterholes in June and July. The number of beds contaminated with F. hepatica metacercariae varied over the years, and the burden of the larvae on plants was low: a mean of 2.6–6.3 per bed. The same variability was also noted for natural infections of Galba truncatula with F. hepatica, as the annual prevalences ranged from 1.2% to 2.4%. Natural infections of Omphiscola glabra with F. hepatica were only detected from 1996 and the annual prevalences subsequently increased up to 1.4–1.8% between 2001 and 2004. However, for both lymnaeids, the variations in these prevalences with year were insignificant. The contamination of these beds with F. hepatica over the past 15 years was similar to that recorded in the same sites between 1970 and 1986. The main changes were the appearance of another digenea, Paramphistomum daubneyi, in the beds, and the possibility for O. glabra to naturally sustain the larval development of F. hepatica.


Digestive Gland Natural Infection Global Prevalence Snail Infection Larval Form 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultés de Médecine et de PharmacieUPRES EA n° 3174 (associée à l’INRA)Limoges France

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