Cotylophoron spp

From Cow
Cotylophoron adult under light microscopy

Cotylophoron spp is a parasitic digenetic paramphistome (fluke) of cattle worldwide.

Species which are pathogenic in cattle include:

  • Cotylophoron cotylophorum[1]

The life cycle involves intermediate snail hosts (Lymnaea spp) with infective metacercariae that are eaten by cattle during grazing. The prepatent period is 3 to 4 months. Ingestion of eggs by cattle releases metacercariae in the intestine where they attach and mature for 6 to 8 weeks before migrating forward to the rumen. In cattle, these paramphistomes usually cause asymptomatic disease.

Immature paramphistomes live in small intestine and once mature, pass eggs into the feces, which are passed out and contaminate pasture.

Clinical signs are often vague in cattle but verminous gastroenteritis has been reported with outbreaks. Haematological changes are often nonspecific, including eosinophilia and decreased protein levels[2].

Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs, isolation of the parasite eggs in feces, identification of adult flukes in the liver. Laboratory confirmation of parasite for identification is required.

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[3].

resistance to this parasite is quite common in adult cattle[4].


  1. Seck MT et al (2008) Spermiogenesis and sperm ultrastructure of Cotylophoron cotylophorum (Trematoda, Digenea, Paramphistomidae), a parasite of Bos taurus in Senegal. Parasitol Res 103(1):157-166
  2. 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
  3. Merck Vet Manual
  4. 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