Cows/sheep spread D. dendricitum eggs via poo. Snails ingest poo along with eggs. Eggs hatch in snail intestine, parasite crosses the wall of snail gut, settles in digestive gland, matures into fluke. Fluke produces cercariae, snail’s defense system wraps cercariae in balls of slime. Slime is coughed up by snail. Ants ingest slime balls along with cercariae. Parasite enters ant’s body, wanders, finds its way to a cluster of nerves that control ant’s motor skill. Most lancet flukes go back to abdomen to form cysts. 1 or 2 stay behind in ants head…
Once they have control over ant’s motor skills…zombie mode begins. When the sun goes down, and the temperature is a bit cooler, the infected ant leaves its colony and is driven to the top of a blade of grass. The ant is driven to clamp its jaws on the blade of grass until the sun rises once again. (if ant is not eaten) once dawn comes, the ant resumes it daily activities with the colony, as if nothing happened. This continues night after night until the ant is eaten with blades of grass, by grazers.
The flukes shoot out of the ants head and head straight for the liver. They chill there until they’re adults. Continue their lifecycle; they stay there, get married, have baby eggs. Eggs are released into the bile duct Intestines Poo
Why does the ant come out at night and then head back to the colony after dawn? Why not stay out during daylight?
Humans examine bile/ duodenal fluid for eggs Animals stool examination post-mortem examination of the liver.
Rare in humans Most infections are asymptomatic and light In heavier infections: Cholecystitis ▪ Inflamed gallbladder Liver abscesses Upper abdominal pain.
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