Current status for controlling the overlooked caprine fasciolosis

18 Jun 2021
Zerna G, Spithill TW and Beddoe T

The disease fasciolosis is caused by the liver flukes Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica, which infect a wide range of mammals and production livestock, including goats. These flatworm parasites are globally distributed and predicted to cost the livestock industry a now conservative USD 3 billion per year in treatment and lowered on-farm productivity. Infection poses a risk to animal welfare and results in lowered fertility rates and reduced production yields of meat, milk and wool. This zoonotic disease is estimated to infect over 600 million animals and up to 2.4 million humans. Current and future control is threatened with the global emergence of flukes resistant to anthelmintics. Drug resistance calls for immediate on-farm parasite management to ensure treatments are effective and re-infection rates are kept low, while a sustainable long-term control method, such as a vaccine, is being developed. Despite the recent expansion of the goat industry, particularly in developing countries, there are limited studies on goat-focused vaccine control studies and the effectiveness of drug treatments. There is a requirement to collate caprine-specific fasciolosis knowledge. This review will present the current status of liver fluke caprine infections and potential control methods for application in goat farming.