Evasion of host immunity during Fasciola hepatica infection

Robin J. Flynn, Mayowa Musah-Eroje

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fasciola hepatica, the common liver fluke, causes infection of livestock throughout temperate regions of the globe. This helminth parasite has an indirect lifecycle, relying on the presence of the mud snail to complete its transition from egg to definitive host (Beesley et al., Transbound Emerg Dis 65:199–216, 2017). Within the definitive host, the parasite excysts in the intestine forming a newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) and migrates via the peritoneal cavity to the liver. Disease resulting from infection can be acute or chronic depending on the host and the number of parasites present. Sheep may succumb to a fatal acute infection if the challenge of metacercariae is great enough. However, in cattle chronic disease is the most likely outcome with parasites surviving for long periods of time. Annual losses are estimated to be in the region of US$ 2000 million to the agricultural industry (Beesley et al., Transbound Emerg Dis 65:199–216, 2017). Management of the disease depends heavily on chemotherapy with triclabendazole being the drug of choice, consistent use for over 20 years has resulted in drug-resistant strains emerging worldwide (Beesley et al., Int J Parasitol 47:11–20, 2017). A more sustainable approach to control would be through vaccination and indeed a lead candidate has been identified, cathepsin L1. Despite these promising results the parasite continues to confound our own and host efforts to generate long-lasting and effective immunity. In this brief review we focus our attention on those mechanisms that the parasite utilises to circumvent the innate based defense mechanisms within the host.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Cathepsin
  • Fasciola hepatica
  • Helminth
  • Immune evasion
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Innate immunity


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