Fascioliasis: a worldwide parasitic disease of importance in travel medicine.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2014 Nov-Dec; 12(6 Pt A):636-49.TM
Fascioliasis is a foodborne zoonotic disease caused by the two parasite species Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. This trematodiasis has never been claimed special relevance for travellers and migrants. However, the situation has drastically changed in the last two decades, in a way that fascioliasis should today be included in the list of diseases to be enhanced in Travel Medicine. Different kind of travellers have been involved in human infection reports: business travellers, tourists, migrants, expatriated workers, military personnel, religious missionaries, and refugees. Europe is the continent where more imported cases have been reported in many countries. More cases would have been probably reported in Europe if fascioliasis would be a reportable disease. In the Americas, most of the reports concern cases diagnosed in USA. Relative few patients have been diagnosed in studies on travellers performed in Asia. In Africa, most cases were reported in Maghreb countries. Blood eosinophilia and the ingestion of watercress or any other suggestive freshwater plant in anamnesis are extremely useful in guiding towards a fascioliasis diagnosis in a developed country, although may not be so in human endemic areas of developing countries. Several suggestive clinical presentation aspects may be useful, although the clinical polymorphism may be misleading in many cases. Non-invasive techniques are helpful for the diagnosis, although images may lead to confusion. Laparoscopic visualization should assist and facilitate procurement of an accurately guided biopsy. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is the first choice in patients in the chronic phase. ERCP and sphincterotomy are used to extract parasites from the biliary tree. Fluke egg finding continues to be the gold standard and enables for burden quantification and establishing of the drug dose. Many serological and stool antigen detection tests have been developed. Immunological techniques present the advantages of being applicable during all periods of the disease, but fundamentally during the invasive or acute period, as well as to other situations in which coprological techniques may present problems. Triclabendazole is the drug of choice at present, although the spread of resistance to this drug is challenging. Prevention mainly concerns measures to avoid individual infection by considering the different human infection sources.