Detection of Fasciola hepatica in Lori Sheep using PCR and Conventional Diagnostic Methods in Western Iran

Document Type: Original Articles


1 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Hepatitis Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran

3 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran

4 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Ahvaz Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


Fascioliasis is an important emerging food and water-borne disease in human communities and it is one of the most important health challenges in countries like Iran. It causes weight loss, decrease in feed conversion ratio and milk and meat production as well as reduces fertility in animals. The prevalence of fasciolosis is increasing in some regions of the world due to many various factors. Different methods have been used for the detection of Fasciola hepatica (F. hepatica) in animals. This study was performed for the first time to detect F. hepatica in Lori sheep using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conventional diagnostic methods in western Iran. During 3 months, 195 fecal samples were collected from sheep in Lorestan province, West of Iran, by stratified random sampling method. The conventional diagnostic methods including wet mount microscopic examination and concentration assays as well as the PCR technique targeting the IGS gene of F. hepatica were used for the detection of the parasite in sheep. Out of 195 examined stool samples, 4 (2.1%) samples were positive for F. hepatica by using the conventional assays. The PCR test was positive for F. hepatica in 7 (3.6%) samples of 195 studied specimens. Statistical analyses of the data revealed that there is a significant difference between the results of diagnostic methods for F. hepatica detection (P=0.0421). In sum, the results showed that PCR has more diagnostic sensitivity compared to conventional diagnostic methods including the concentration techniques and microscopic examination. It can be advised to use PCR for the detection of F. hepatica in sheep.