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OTHER LIVER FLUKE DISEASES

Opisthorchiasis

Definition

Opisthorchiasis is an infection of the liver and bile ducts with Opisthorchis felineus or 0. viverrini, both of which are liver flukes in humans, cats, and other fish-eating animals.

Geographic Distribution

Opisthorchis felineus parasitizes many species of fish-eating animals and humans in central, eastern and southern Europe, Poland, the Ukraine, Russia (especially the area east of the Ural mountains and the West Siberian lowlands, where up to 64% of the population and 87% of the carp were found to be infected in one investigation). Occasional cases have also been seen in India, Vietnam, North Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Opisthorchis viverrini is an important liver fluke of man in Thailand, Laos, and Kampuchea (Cambodia). Several investigators have found that the average prevalence of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeastern Thailand is 62%, with the highest being 92%. There are probably several million persons infected with 0. felineus in Europe and Asia, while in northeastern Thailand the prevalence of O. viverrini infection rose from 3.5 million in 1965 to 5.4 million in 1981. More recently, Haswell-Elkins et al in 1992 estimated seven million infections with O. viverrini and, in endemic areas, indicated up to 100% prevalence in those over 10 years of age. Related species of Opisthorchis have been reported in natives of New Guinea and Ecuador.

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