Image taken from the Jeroen Neele Photo Gallery
From 1995 to 1997, agricultural researchers
various Asian Institutions conducted a survey to
assess the presence and economic implications of helmenthic disease in the Mekong Delta region of
Vietnam. One particular area of focus involved the transmission of F. buski within the
Vuon-Ao-Chung (VAC) system, which combines small industries of agriculture, pig raising, and
fish raising. These
systems are not economically efficient and produce little, if any, income. Farmers are even
further debilitated economically by high rates of parasitic disease among the livestock. Thus,
animal activities are closely related and occur on small plots of land. Many farmers probably
use pig feces as a source of cheap fertilizer as well. With an understanding of
the F. buski lifecycle,
it is easy to see that the parasite could thrive in
such an environment.
The researchers discovered F. buski eggs in the feces of four
pigs from four
farms. All infected pigs had been fed mainly with supplimental water spinach feed grown locally.
and Indoplanorbis snails, which serve as intermediate hosts to the parasite, were
detected in marshlands, ponds, small rivers and rice fields near the pig pens in the VAC
systems. The researchers concluded that the parasite had been transmitted among the pigs by
feeding on the contaminated water plants. They also concluded that humans were also at risk of
infection since many
ate locally grown water spinach as well.
gigantea in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Image taken from Cantho University, Vietnam
Yoshihara, Shinobu, Nguyen Phuoc Hung, Nguyen Huu Hung, and Chau Ba Loc. "Helminths and Helminthiosis of Pigs in the Mekong Delta Vietnam with Special Reference to Ascariosis and Fasciolopsis buski Infection." Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly. Vol. 33, No. 3 (1999). Online. Internet. 28 April 2002.