Fasciolopsiasis is infection with the intestinal fluke Fasciolopsis buski, which is acquired by eating aquatic plants.
F. buski is present in the intestine of pigs in many parts of Asia. Human infection is acquired by eating aquatic plants (eg, water chestnuts) thaat bear infectious metacercariae (encysted stage). Adult worms attach to and ulcerate the mucosa of the proximal small bowel. They grow to about 20 to 75 mm by 8 to 20 mm. Adults have a life span of about 1 yr.
Most infections are light and asymptomatic, but heavy infections may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and signs of malabsorption.
Diagnosis is made by finding eggs or, less commonly, adult worms in the feces.
Treatment is with praziquantel 25 mg/kg po tid for 1 day.
Last full review/revision December 2009 by Richard D. Pearson, MD
Content last modified February 2012