Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Paramphistome spp

Synonym(s): Rumen fluke, Paramphistomum, Bothriophoron, Calicophoron, Carmyerius, Cotylophoron, Giganocotyle and Orthocoelium

Contributor(s): Matthew Barden , Hany Elsheikha

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  • Phylum: platyhelminthes.
  • Class: trematoda.
  • Subclass: digenea.
  • Family: paramphistomidae.
  • Genera: paramphistomum - most common and widespread genera: Bothriophoron, Calicophoron, Carmyerius, Cotylophoron, Giganocotyle and Orthocoelium.
  • Species: varies geographically (see below).

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Clinical Effects



  • Permanent standing water is a risk factor – facilitates population of aquatic snails  .
  • Recent flooding associated with an increased risk.


  • Eggs shed in ruminant feces.
  • Miracidia hatch and penetrate intermediate host (freshwater snails – specific species varies).
    • Intermediate host: P. cervi use aquatic snails (Bulinuspp. and Planorbis spp.)
    • C. daubneyi uses amphibious snails, such as Galba snails (Omphiscola spp.).
  • Develop to cercariae in snail.
  • Cercariae leave snail and encyst on vegetation – become metacercariae.
  • Metacercariae ingested by definitive host (ruminant).
  • Metacercariae excyst in duodenum, immature flukes attach to mucosa and develop.
  • Migration of immature flukes in mucosa, submucosa and muscularis to forestomachs.
  • Final maturation in rumen.
  • Prepatent period minimum 7-10 weeks – varies with species.


  • Eggs shed in feces of ruminant host.

Pathological effects

  • Damage to intestinal mucosa during immature migration.
  • Reduced rumen efficiency if high adult burden.


Control via chemotherapies

  • Oxyclozanide.
  • Hexaclorophene.
  • Closantel Closantel.
  • Bithionol.
  • Niclosamide – (immature fluke only) Niclosamide.
  • Brotianide  – (adult fluke only) Brotianide.

Control via environment

  • Prevent access to natural water.
  • Avoid grazing contaminated pastures – particularly young, susceptible animals.
  • Drainage of wet areas if possible.
  • Mulluscicides may be of some benefit (eg. copper sulphate, sodium pentachlorophenate).
  • Adult cows develop good immunity but can harbor low level of infection and infect snail population – adults cows can therefore be treated prior to turnout limit this.
  • Concrete around water troughs to prevent puddles.
  • Fence off permanent water.
  • Possible benefits using natural predators of snails (eg ducks) but not assessed on large scale.


  • None currently available.


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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Duignan G, Fagan J, Cepta J & Casey M (2017) Diagnosing acute larval paramphistomosis in ruminants. Veterinary Record 180 (25).
  • Huson K M, Oliver N A M & Robinson M W (2017) Paramphistomosis of Ruminants: An Emerging Parasitic Disease in Europe. Trends in Parasitology 33 (11) pp 836–844.
  • Chryssafidis, Lazaros A, Fu Y, De Waal T & Mulcahy G (2015) Standardisation of egg-viability assays for Fasciola hepatica and Calicophoron daubneyi: A tool for evaluating new technologies of parasite control. Veterinary Parasitology 210 pp 25-31.
  • Arias M S, Sanchis J, Francisco I, Francisco R, et al (2013) The efficacy of four anthelmintics against Calicophoron daubneyi in naturally infected dairy cattle. Vet Parasitol 197 pp 126-9.
  • De Waal T (2010) Paramphistomum – a brief review. Irish Veterinary Journal 63 (5) pp 313–316.
  • Abrous M, Rondelaud D & Dreyfuss G (1999) Paramphistomum daubneyi and Fasciola hepatica: influence of temperature changes on the shedding of cercariae from dually infected Lymnaea truncatula. Parasitol Res 85 pp 765-9.

Other sources of information

  • Taylor M A, Coop R L & Wall R L (2016) Veterinary parasitology. 4th Edn. Chichester, West Sussex; John Wiley & Sons Inc. 
  • Elsheikha H M, Khan N (2011) Essential of Veterinary Parasitology. 1st Edn. Caister Academic Press, UK.