Triclabendazole (TCBZ), the anthelmintic drug active against both mature and immature liver flukes, was used to investigate the effect of in vivo treatment on the tegumental surface of juvenile Fasciola gigantica. Five goats were infected with 150 F. gigantica metacercariae each by oral gavage. Four of them were treated with single dose of TCBZ at 10 mg/kg at four weeks post-infection. They were euthanized at 0 (untreated), 24, 48, 72 and 96 h post treatment. Juvenile flukes were manually retrieved from the goat livers and processed for scanning electron microscopy. In control flukes, the anterior region was adorned with sharply pointed spines projecting away from the surface, while in the posterior region, spines become shorter and narrower, loosing serration and with the appearance of distinct furrows and papillae. The dorsal surface retained the same pattern of surface architecture similar to that of ventral surface. Flukes obtained from 24 h post-treatment did not show any apparent change and were still very active. However, there were limited movements and some blebbing, swelling, deposition of tegumental secretions and some flattening displayed by the flukes of 48 h post-treatment. All the worms were found dead 72 h post-treatment and showed advanced level of tegumental disruptions, consisting of severe distortion of spines, sloughing off the tegument to expose the basal lamina, formation of pores and isolated patches of lesions. By 96 h post-treatment, the disruption was extremely severe and the tegument was completely sheared off causing deeper lesions that exposed the underlying musculature. The disruption was more severe at posterior than anterior region and on ventral than dorsal surface. The present study further establishes the time-course of TCBZ action in vivo with 100% efficacy against the juvenile tropical liver fluke.
- Fasciola gigantica, triclabendazole, scanning electron microscopy, liver fluke, tegumental disruption, goat fasciolosis