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 Opisthorchis is the genus of flukes in the

family Opisthorchiidae.
From greek word opisthen(behind) and
orchis(testicle),Opisthorchis is the genus of
trematodes whose testes are located in the
posterior of body
3 Major species
 Opisthorchis verrini
 Opisthorchis felineus
 The species known as Clonorchis sinensis has
sometimes been reclassified in the genus
 Hosts:Snails
 Reservoirs:Mammals
 Infection:Ingestion of raw fish.
 Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis
are capable of causing cancer in humans and
are classified by International Agency of
Research on cancer as group 1 biological
carcinogen in 2009.
 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Platyhelminths
 Class: Rhabditophora
 Order: Plagiochiida
 Family: Opisthorchiidae
 Genus: Opisthorchis
 The adult of Opisthorchis viverrini is usually
about 10-25mm in length and 3-5mm in
 The yellowish brown,ovoid eggs have a
distinct operculum which opens to release the
miracidium-full formed larva.
 Opisthorchis species are liver fluke parasites
(trematodes or worms). Opisthorchis
viverrini is known as the Southeast Asian liver
fluke and O.felineus is known as the cat liver
 Liver fluke infections occur mostly in people
living in some areas where the parasites are
 O.viverrini is found mainly in northeast
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and central and
southern Vietnam.

 O.felineus is found mainly in Italy, Germany,

Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.
Travelers to Asia or Europe who consume raw
or undercooked fish are at risk for liver fluke
 People become infected by eating raw or
undercooked freshwater fish containing the
 Lightly salted, smoked, or pickled fish may
contain infectious parasites. Drinking river
water or other non potable water will not lead
to infection with Opisthorchis.
 The eggs produced by the mature adult
worms pass down the bile duct and are
excreted in the faeces.
 If the eggs reach a freshwater body (small
ponds, streams and rivers, flooded rice fields,
and reservoirs), they are ingested by snails,
which act as the primary intermediate hosts.
Asexual reproduction in the snail results in
daily release of thousands of cercariae, 1–2
months after infection of the snail.
 The free-swimming cercariae penetrate the
tissue of freshwater fish, which act as the
secondary intermediate host, and encyst to
become fully infective metacercariae under the
fish’s skin or in muscle after 21 days.

 Humans or other fish-eating animals are infected

through the ingestion of raw or undercooked
(salted, pickled, or smoked) freshwater fish that
contains metacercariae. After ingestion, the
metacercaria excysts in the duodenum and
ascends the biliary tract through the ampulla of
Vater. Maturation to adulthood takes
approximately 1 month.
 Liver flukes infect the liver, gallbladder, and
bile duct in humans. While most infected
persons have no symptoms, infections that
last a long time can result in severe
symptoms and serious illness. Infections are
not known to last longer than 25–30 years,
the life span of the parasite.
 In mild cases, symptoms may include
indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea,
or constipation. Signs and symptoms are
related to inflammation and blockage of the
bile ducts that may come and go. In
severe cases, abdominal pain, nausea,
and diarrhea can occur
 Ova and parasite (O&P) stool examinations for
liver fluke eggs is the only available way to
diagnosis Opisthorchis infection.

 More than one stool sample may be needed

to identify the eggs. Additionally, cysts
containing the parasite can sometimes be
detected by ultrasound, CT, or MRI.
 Praziquantel or albendazole are the drugs of
choice to treat Opisthorchis infection.
 Do not eat raw or undercooked freshwater fish. Lightly
salted, smoked, or pickled fish can contain infectious
parasites. Drinking river water or other nonpotable water
will not lead to infection with Opisthorchis.
 The FDA recommends the following for fish preparation or
storage to kill any parasites.
 Cooking
◦ Cook fish adequately (to an internal temperature of at least 145° F
[~63° C]).
 Freezing (Fish)
◦ At -4°F (-20°C) or below for at least 7 days (total time); or
◦ At -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid, and storing at -31°F (-35°C)
or below for at least 15 hours; or
◦ At -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -4°F (-20°C) or
below for at least 24 hours.