Molecular confirmation of Fasciola hepatica infection in capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) from the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil

Rev Bras Parasitol Vet. 2021 May 28;30(2):e000221. doi: 10.1590/S1984-29612021027. eCollection 2021.


Sixty-two fecal samples of capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) living in eight conservation units (CUs) across the state of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil, were assessed for the presence of eggs of liver flukes via sedimentation. Fasciola hepatica eggs were found in 37.1% (23/62) of the samples. Positive samples were found in six CUs (75%), three CUs located in the southern region of the state and three others in the metropolitan region of the capital city of Vitória. Identification of Fasciola hepatica eggs collected from capybara fecal samples were based on morphology, and confirmed using molecular methods. Our results suggest that capybaras may serve as a wild reservoir host for F. hepatica, possibly contributing to the epidemiology and geographic range expansion of this zoonotic parasite across its vast range of distribution in South America.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Fasciola hepatica*
  • Fascioliasis* / diagnosis
  • Fascioliasis* / epidemiology
  • Fascioliasis* / veterinary
  • Feces
  • Rodent Diseases*
  • Rodentia