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The distribution of Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica within southern Tanzania – constraints associated with the intermediate host

  • S. M. WALKER (a1), A. E. MAKUNDI (a2), F. V. NAMUBA (a2), A. A. KASSUKU (a3), J. KEYYU (a4), E. M. HOEY (a1), P. PRÖDOHL (a1), J. R. STOTHARD (a5) and A. TRUDGETT (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 21 January 2008

In East Africa, Fasciola gigantica is generally the causative agent of fasciolosis but there have been reports of F. hepatica in cattle from highland regions of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire. The topography of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania provides an environment where the climatic conditions exist for the sustenance of lymnaeid species capable of supporting both Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. Theoretically this would allow interaction between fasciolid species and the possible creation of hybrids. In this report we present molecular data confirming the existence of the snail, Lymnaea truncatula, at high altitude on the Kitulo Plateau of the Southern Highlands, Tanzania, along with morphometric and molecular data confirming the presence of F. hepatica in the corresponding area. At lower altitudes, where climatic conditions were unfavourable for the existence of L. truncatula, the presence of its sister species L. natalensis was confirmed by molecular data along with its preferred fasciolid parasite, F. gigantica. Analysis based on a 618 bp sequence of the 28S rRNA gene did not reveal the presence of hybrid fasciolids in our fluke samples.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: School of Biological Sciences, The Queen's University of Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7BL. E-mail:
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