Calicophoron spp

From Cow
Calicophoron adult under light microscopy

Calicophoron spp (formerly Paramphistomum) is a parasitic digenetic paramphistome (fluke) of cattle worldwide.

Species which are pathogenic in cattle include:

  • Calicophoron daubneyi[1]
  • Calicophoron microbothrium[2]

The life cycle involves intermediate snail hosts (Lymnaea spp) with infective metacercariae that are eaten by cattle during grazing. The adult fluke usually resides in the small intestine of cattle and cause asymptomatic disease. Once mature, the flukes pass eggs into the feces, which are passed out and contaminate pasture. The fluke appears to have a preference for temperate environments[3].

Clinical signs are often vague in cattle and diarrhoea is a consistent sign. Haematological changes are often nonspecific, including eosinophilia and decreased protein levels[4].

Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs, isolation of the parasite eggs in feces, identification of adult flukes in the intestines and laboratory analysis of parasite for identification.

Control of this parasite is through use of molluscicides to control the snail (intermediate host) as well as flukicidal drugs such as triclabendazole, closantel, moxidectin plus triclabendazole and oxyclozanide[5].

resistance to this parasite is quite common in adult cattle[6].


  1. Arias M et al (2011) Prevalence of mixed trematode infections in an abattoir receiving cattle from northern Portugal and north-west Spain. Vet Rec 168(15):408
  2. Ashour AA et al(2011) Morphology and ultrastructure of the digenetic trematode Calicophoron microbothrium from a cow in Taif, Saudi Arabia. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 41(2):357-364
  3. Díaz P et al (2007) Assessment of climatic and orographic conditions on the infection by Calicophoron daubneyi and Dicrocoelium dendriticum in grazing beef cattle (NW Spain). Vet Parasitol 149(3-4):285-289
  4. Mavenyengwa M et al (2010) Influence of Calicophoron microbothrium amphistomosis on the biochemical and blood cell counts of cattle. J Helminthol 84(4):355-361
  5. Merck Vet Manual
  6. Mavenyengwa M et al (2008) Bovine intestinal cellular responses following primary and challenge infections with Calicophoron microbothrium metacercariae. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 75(2):109-120