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    Calicophoron daubneyi (rumen fluke) is an emerging parasitic infection of livestock across Europe. Despite increasing in prevalence, little is known about the level of awareness of rumen fluke or current control practices used by UK farmers. Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) is a common parasitic infection of cattle and sheep in the UK. Co-infections with these parasites can present in sheep and cattle, but the only drug with reported efficacy against rumen fluke is oxyclozanide. Between December 2019 and March 2020, 451 sheep and/or cattle farmers completed an online questionnaire, capturing their awareness and current means of control for liver fluke and rumen fluke. Most respondents (70%) were aware of rumen fluke, with 14% recording its presence on their farms and 18% having previously treated for rumen fluke. Almost all respondents (99%) were aware of liver fluke and higher numbers of respondents reported its presence on farm (67%) with 88% having previously treated for liver fluke. Respondents who were aware of rumen fluke said they were concerned about the parasite (81%), although rumen fluke was less of a concern than liver fluke (p < 0.05). Of respondents who reported rumen fluke presence on their farm, 42% cited incorrect diagnostic methods, including those traditionally used to detect liver fluke. Respondents were more likely to treat annually for liver fluke, as opposed to rumen fluke (p < 0.05). The most frequently used drug for the treatment of liver fluke infection was triclabendazole (53% sheep treatments, 34% cattle treatments) and only a minority of farmers treated with a product effective against rumen fluke (oxyclozanide; 42% cattle treatments, 35% sheep treatments). A small proportion of farmers stated that they used a non-flukicide drug to treat sheep for liver fluke infection (1.6% sheep treatments). These results demonstrate a broad awareness of liver and rumen fluke in sheep and cattle, but reveal confusion amongst farmers about their diagnosis and treatment, highlighting the need to provide best practice advice to the livestock industry for the control of both parasites. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Rebecca C Hoyle, Hannah Rose Vineer, Jennifer S Duncan, Diana J L Williams, Jane E Hodgkinson. A survey of sheep and/or cattle farmers in the UK shows confusion over the diagnosis and control of rumen fluke and liver fluke. Veterinary parasitology. 2022 Dec;312:109812

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    PMID: 36270230

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