Opisthorchis viverrini: the carcinogenic human liver fluke

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Feb 7;14(5):666-74. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.666.


Opisthorchiasis caused by Opisthorchis viverrini remains a major public health problem in many parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia. The infection is associated with a number of hepatobiliary diseases, including cholangitis, obstructive jaundice, hepatomegaly, cholecystitis and cholelithiasis. Multi-factorial etiology of cholangiocarcinoma, mechanical damage, parasite secretions, and immunopathology may enhance cholangiocarcinogenesis. Moreover, both experimental and epidemiological evidences strongly implicate liver fluke infection as the major risk factor in cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile ducts. The liver fluke infection is induced by eating raw or uncooked fish products that is the tradition and popular in the northeastern and northern region, particularly in rural areas, of Thailand. The health education programs to prevent and control opisthorchiasis are still required in the high-risk areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asia, Southeastern / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / parasitology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Opisthorchiasis / epidemiology
  • Opisthorchiasis / parasitology*
  • Opisthorchiasis / pathology
  • Opisthorchis / genetics
  • Opisthorchis / growth & development*