Evaluation of Fasciola hepatica Infections in Cattle in Northeastern Algeria and the Effects on Both Enzyme and Hepatic Damage, Confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscopy

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of our study is to establish the presence of Fasciola hepatica on farms in northeastern Algeria.

Methods

143 blood and coprological samples of 15 males and 128 females of different breeds and ages were analysed.

Results

Our study indicates a heterogeneous level of the anti-f2 antibodies to Fasciola hepatica in response to the infection. The overall seroprevalence was about 22.37%, and 9 out of 13 investigated farms were infected, with rates varying from 5.88% to 70%. To explain the intrinsic variability of the infection, we identified age, sex and breed as potential risk factors. Based on this, we collected information about their relevance. There was a significant difference for age (p = 0.018) and coprology (p < 0.0001). Independently, sex and breed had no impact on the infection, although males were more infected (27%) than females (22%). Of the five investigated breeds, Holstein cattle (31.11%) were most affected, followed by Montbeliard (20.27%) and crossed breed (13.64%). Multivariate comparisons showed that the presence of faecal eggs reflects the active infectious status of cattle (p < 0.0001), while age (p = 0.011) and sex (p = 0.040) significantly impact the chance of acquiring the infection. To evaluate liver parenchyma integrity and its functionality, hepatic enzymes were examined and showed relatively low levels of aminotransferases, excluding cytolisis. Although sensitive to distomatosis, γGT and PAL values were inconsistent with the infection rate. The relatively high levels of proteins and albumin eliminate hepatic insufficiency.

Conclusion

Our results suggest a chronic fasciolosis, confirmed by histology and SEM.

Article Highlights

  • The northeast of Algeria is classified as an area with fasciolosis.

  • Confirmation of enzymatic data by chronology of histological events.

  • Invalidation of the relationship between anti-f2 antibodies to Fasciola hepatica and the Gamma GT levels, identified as one of the markers of the canalicular enzymes.

  • Superposition of macroscopic observations to SEM / EDX images showing calcified structures referring to histological data.

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Abbreviations

γGT:

Gamma glutamyl transferase

PAL:

Alkaline phosphotase

SEM:

Scanning electron microscopy

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Correspondence to Amina Taibi.

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Taibi, A., Aissi, M., Harhoura, K. et al. Evaluation of Fasciola hepatica Infections in Cattle in Northeastern Algeria and the Effects on Both Enzyme and Hepatic Damage, Confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscopy. Acta Parasit. 64, 112–128 (2019). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-018-00013-9

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Keywords

  • Cattle
  • Elisa
  • Fasciola hepatica
  • Liver enzyme
  • Liver injuries