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Title: Prevalence and pathology of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in fallow deer (Dama dama)
Contributor(s): Lamb, Jane  (author); Doyle, Emma  (author)orcid ; Barwick, Jamie  (author)orcid ; Chambers, Michael (author); Kahn, Lewis  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2021-05
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2021.109427
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Abstract: A survey conducted on fallow deer (n = 79) in northern New South Wales Australia, aimed to ascertain the prevalence and gross pathology of liver fluke. In total, three deer populations were assessed (1 farmed and 2 wild) across 2 sites (site A and B) by conducting total fluke counts in the liver and fluke egg counts in faecal samples. At site A, 16 of 19 farmed deer (84.2 %) and 9 of 20 wild deer (45 %) had active or resolved infections. At site B, 16 of 40 wild deer (40 %) had active or resolved infections. Deer with active infections had low fluke burdens (1–11 fluke) which were in the adult development stage, shedding eggs with faeces (0–121.7 eggs per gram). Liver pathology score did not exceed 3.5 out of 5 with gross pathomorphological lesions predominately confined to the peripheral regions of the left lobe. Farmed deer, confined within a fluky habitat, attained the highest group mean pathology score, with dense fibrosis and concomitant atrophy of the left lobe (site A: farmed – 1.8, wild- 0.6; site B: wild – 0.3). Well-defined fibrotic capsules captured and restricted fluke migration beyond the peripheral region of the left lobe of the liver. The presence of live and dead fluke within the fibrotic capsules confirms the inherent ability of fallow deer to resolve infections. This survey has highlighted the susceptibility of fallow deer to liver fluke within an endemic region. Recurrent exposure, as seen in the farmed deer confined within a fluky habitat, appears to strengthen tissue response in terms of gross pathology and may impede the release of fluke eggs from the liver. Low fluke burdens and limited lesions suggest fallow deer have a strong level of resistance to liver fluke. Nevertheless, within this endemic region, fallow deer are widespread and clearly facilitating the liver fluke life cycle. Further research is warranted to ascertain the impact of fallow deer on disease transmission in livestock production when cohabiting the grazing environment.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Veterinary Parasitology, v.293, p. 1-9
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0304-4017
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300306 Animal welfare
300302 Animal management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 109902 Animal welfare
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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