Hafod, Bancyffordd, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire

Focus Site Project: Detection of the fluke infection status of on farm snail habitats as a tool to manage liver fluke

Project aims: 

  • The mud snail Galba truncatula is the key intermediate host for liver and rumen fluke.
  • Specifically, they are seen in areas of wet habitats such as ponds, stream edges, ditches and areas of wet and muddy ground.
  • The liver fluke parasite cercaria life stage leaves the snail to encyst on herbage that may be grazed by livestock and therefore these habitats are a key area of infection on any farm. 
  • However, not all suitable snail habitats on a farm will be habited by snails and only a minority of snails will be infected by liver fluke.
  • This project aims to tie in an evaluation of the usefulness of providing this information to the farmer through a series of repeated surveys of snails within the on-farm habitats.
  • With the continued development of an eDNA assay for both the mud snail and the liver fluke parasite that could serve as the foundation of a longer term and more accessible test of habitat infection levels.

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