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Validation of a Test for Liver Fluke and Distribution in Northern Australia
The common liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, is an economically important parasite that infects a wide range of livestock species, including sheep and cattle, and has a lifecycle stage in certain species of freshwater snail. A conservative estimate puts the annual cost of fasciolosis to the Australian livestock industries at $90 million.
This project was developed to evaluate a new antibody test for diagnosing liver fluke infection and to update information on its distribution in northern Australia. The new test proved to be both sensitive and specific and far superior to current diagnostic technology. Liver fluke remains confined to southeast Queensland but the presence of introduced tropical snails provides potential for the parasite to spread well beyond its current range and ultimately affect the northern beef industry. Recommendations are the adoption of the new diagnostic test and implementation of an ongoing monitoring programme.
This page was last updated on 10/11/2014
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