Zoonotic Echinostome Infections in Free-Grazing Ducks in Thailand

  • Saijuntha, Weerachai (Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute (WRBRI), Mahasarakham University) ;
  • Duenngai, Kunyarat (Department of Public Health, Faculty of Science and Technology, Phetchabun Rajabhat University) ;
  • Tantrawatpan, Chairat (Division of Cell Biology, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University)
  • Received : 2013.05.30
  • Accepted : 2013.10.11
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Free-grazing ducks play a major role in the rural economy of Eastern Asia in the form of egg and meat production. In Thailand, the geographical location, tropical climate conditions and wetland areas of the country are suitable for their husbandry. These environmental factors also favor growth, multiplication, development, survival, and spread of duck parasites. In this study, a total of 90 free-grazing ducks from northern, central, and northeastern regions of Thailand were examined for intestinal helminth parasites, with special emphasis on zoonotic echinostomes. Of these, 51 (56.7%) were infected by one or more species of zoonotic echinostomes, Echinostoma revolutum, Echinoparyphium recurvatum, and Hypoderaeum conoideum. Echinostomes found were identified using morphological criteria when possible. ITS2 sequences were used to identify juvenile and incomplete worms. The prevalence of infection was relatively high in each region, namely, north, central, and northeast region was 63.2%, 54.5%, and 55.3%, respectively. The intensity of infection ranged up to 49 worms/infected duck. Free-grazing ducks clearly play an important role in the life cycle maintenance, spread, and transmission of these medically important echinostomes in Thailand.


  1. Anh NT, Madsen H, Dalsgaard A, Phuong NT, Thanh DT, Murrell KD. Poultry as reservoir hosts for fishborne zoonotic trematodes in Vietnamese fish farms. Vet Parasitol 2010; 169: 391-394.
  2. Saijuntha W, Sithithaworn P, Andrews RH. Genetic differentiation of Echinostoma revolutum and Hypodereaum conoideum from domestic ducks in Thailand by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. J Helminthol 2010; 84: 143-148.
  3. Eom KS, Rim HJ, Jang DH. A study on the parasitic helminths of domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos var. domestica Linnaeus) in Korea. Korean J Parasitol 1984; 22: 215-221.
  4. Kostadinova A. Family Echinostomatidae Looss, 1899. In Jones A, Bray RA, Gibson DI eds, Keys to the Trematoda, Vol. 2. London, UK. CABI Publishing and the Natural History Museum. 2005, p 9-64.
  5. Tantrawatpan C, Saijuntha W, Sithithaworn P, Andrews RH, Petney TN. Genetic differentiation of Artyfechinostomum malayanum and A. sufrartyfex (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) based on internal transcribed spacer sequences. Parasitol Res 2013; 112: 437-441.
  6. Anisuzzaman, Alim MA, Rahman MH, Mondal MMH. Helminth parasites in indigenous ducks: Seasonal dynamics and effects on production performance. J Bangladesh Agr Univ 2005; 3: 283-290.
  7. Suhardono, Roberts JA, Copeman DB. Biological control of Fasciola gigantica with Echinostoma revolutum. Vet Parasitol 2006; 140: 166-170.
  8. Saijuntha W, Sithithaworn P, Duenngai K, Kiatsopit N, Andrews RH, Petney TN. Genetic variation and relationships of four species of medically important echinostomes (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) in South-East Asia. Infect Genet Evol 2011; 11: 375-381.
  9. Saijuntha W, Tantrawatpan C, Sithithaworn P, Andrews RH, Petney TN. Spatial and temporal genetic variation of Echinostoma revolutum (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) from Thailand and the Lao PDR. Acta Trop 2011; 118: 105-109.
  10. Sornmani S. Echinostomiasis in Thailand: a review. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 1969; 1: 171-175.
  11. Radomyos B, Wongsaroj T, Wilairatana P, Radomyos P, Praevanich R, Meesomboon V, Jongsuksuntikul P. Opisthorchiasis and intestinal fluke infections in northern Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 1998; 29: 123-127.
  12. Chai JY, Sohn WM, Yong TS, Eom KS, Min DY, Hoang EH, Phammasack B, Insisiengmay B, Rim HJ. Echinostome flukes recovered from humans in Khammouane Province, Lao PDR. Korean J Parasitol 2012; 50: 269-272.
  13. Sohn WM, Chai JY, Yong TS, Eom KS, Yoon CH, Sinuon M, Socheat D, Lee SH. Echinostoma revolutum infection in children, Pursat Province, Cambodia. Emerg Infect Dis 2011; 17: 117-119.
  14. Sohn WM, Kim HJ, Yong TS, Eom KS, Jeong HG, Kim JK, Kang AR, Kim MR, Park JM, Ji SH, Sinuon M, Socheat D, Chai JY. Echinostoma ilocanum infection in Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia. Korean J Parasitol 2011; 49: 187-190.
  15. Huffman JE, Fried B. Echinostoma and echinostomiasis. Adv Parasitol 1990; 29: 215-269.
  16. WHO. Control of food-borne trematode infections.World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 1995.
  17. Pariyanonda S, Tesana S. Edible mollusk, the intermediate host of helminthes in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand. Srinagarind Hosp Med J 1990; 5: 159-172.
  18. Chai JY, Hong ST, Lee SH, Lee GC, Min YI. A case of echinostomiasis with ulcerative lesions in the duodenum. Korean J Parasitol 1994; 32: 201-204.
  19. Yousuf MA, Das PM, Anisuzzaman, Banowary B. Gastro-intestinal helminths of ducks: Some epidemiologic and pathologic aspects. J Bangladesh Agr Univ 2009; 7: 91-97.
  20. Chai JY, Shin EH, Lee SH, Rim HJ. Foodborne intestinal flukes in Southeast Asia. Korean J Parasitol 2009; 47(suppl): S69-S102.
  21. Miliotis MD, Bier JW. International Handbook of Foodborne Pathogens. CRC Press, New York. 2003.
  22. Graczyk TK, Fried B. Echinostomiasis: a common but forgotten food-borne disease. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1998; 58: 501-504.
  23. Fried B, Graczyk TK, Tamang L. Food-borne intestinal trematodiases in humans. Parasitol Res 2004; 93: 159-170.
  24. Grover M, Dutta R, Kumar R, Aneja S, Mehta G. Echinostoma ilocanum infection. Indian Pediatr 1998; 35: 549-552.
  25. Radomyos P, Krudsood S, Wilairatana P, Looareesuwan S. Atlas of Medical Parasitology. Bangkok, Thailand. Pappim Co. Ltd. 2003 (in Thai).
  26. Joe LK, Nasemary S, Impand P. Five echinostome species from Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 1973; 4:96-101.
  27. Beaver PC, Jung RC, Cupp EW. Clinical Parasitology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, USA. Lea & Febiger. 1984, p 460.
  28. Sorensen RE, Curtis J, Minchella DJ. Intraspecific variation in the rDNA its loci of 37-collar-spined echinostomes from North America: implications for sequence-based diagnoses and phylogenetics. J Parasitol 1998; 84: 992-997.
  29. Chai JY, Murrell KD, Lymbery AJ. Fish-borne parasitic zoonoses: status and issues. Int J Parasitol 2005; 35: 1233-1254.