A cross-sectional coprological survey of liver flukes in cattle and sheep from an area of the southern Italian Apennines.Vet Parasitol. 2002 Sep 10; 108(2):137-43.VP
A cross-sectional coprological survey of liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica and Dicrocoelium dendriticum) was conducted on 81 bovine farms and 197 ovine farms with animals pasturing in an area (3971 km(2)) of the southern Italian Apennines. The farms were selected to be uniformly distributed throughout the study area using geographical information system (GIS) software. Between June 1999 and March 2000, faecal samples were collected from 975 cattle and 3940 sheep and examined using a modified McMaster technique. The results were subjected to statistical analysis and point distribution maps (PDMs) were drawn by GIS. Cattle of 9 of the 81 (11.1%) farms were positive for F. hepatica and of 43 (53.1%) for D. dendriticum. Sheep of 8 of the 197 (4.1%) farms were positive for F. hepatica and of 133 (67.5%) for D. dendriticum. Co-infection was found in cattle of 2 (2.5%) farms, and in sheep of 8 (4.1%) farms. The findings of the present survey show that D. dendriticum was the predominant liver fluke found in cattle and sheep with respect to egg count numbers for both farms and animals. In addition, the general trends of the PDMs show that D. dendriticum was widely and homogeneously spread throughout the study area, whereas F. hepatica was present only in a few concentrated zones of the study area that had both positive bovine and positive ovine farms.