MSD Manual

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Richard D. Pearson

, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Jan 2020| Content last modified Jan 2020
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Fasciolopsiasis is infection with the intestinal fluke Fasciolopsis buski, which is acquired by eating aquatic plants.

Flukes are parasitic flatworms that infect various parts of the body (blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, liver) depending on the species.

F. buski is present in the intestine of pigs in many parts of Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Human infection is acquired by eating aquatic plants (eg, water chestnuts) that bear infectious metacercariae (encysted stage). Adult worms attach to and ulcerate the mucosa of the proximal small bowel. They grow to about 20 to 75 mm by 8 to 20 mm. Adult worms have a life span of about 1 year.

Most infections are light and asymptomatic, but heavy infections may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and signs of malabsorption or intestinal obstruction.

Diagnosis of fasciolopsiasis is made by finding eggs or, less commonly, adult worms in the feces. The eggs are indistinguishable from those of Fasciola hepatica.

Treatment of fasciolopsiasis is with praziquantel 25 mg/kg orally 3 times a day for 1 day.

Prevention involves not eating freshwater plants in areas where Fasciolopsis buski is endemic.

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