We report four cases of dicrocoeliosis in sheep of untraced origin at an abattoir in Wales in 2015. Liver presentation ranged from severe, with extensive disseminated fibrosis and small bile duct hyperplasia and ectasia, to mild, characterised by occasional small white lesions on the subcapsular surface. Incising the liver revealed black fluid containing Dicrocoelium dendriticum. In another case, from North West England, adult parasites were found in the gall bladder—there were no liver lesions—and eggs were present in faeces. The cases demonstrate that this condition may appear in sheep in UK outside the known endemic areas of western Scotland. Surveillance is therefore necessary but only achievable through accurate diagnosis. Investigators must be aware that lesions can appear similar in some cases to those caused by other parasites, especially Fasciola hepatica and Cysticercus tenuicollis, and that coprological methods to detect sheep nematode eggs are insensitive for this parasite.
- Dicrocoelium dendriticum
- Lancet fluke
- Meat inspection
- variable lesions
- Problems in diagnosis
- Received September 23, 2016.
- Accepted February 7, 2017.
- © British Veterinary Association (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
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Contributors All authors had a significant role in investigating and writing this manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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