Dr. Joko Prastowo from the UGM Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was inaugurated as a professor of parasitology on Thursday, October 5, 2023, making him one of the 418 active professors at UGM.
He delivered an inaugural speech entitled “Lymnaea and Its Effects on the Spread of Liver Flukes in Livestock.”
“The topic to be discussed in this speech is included in the most frequently encountered neglected tropical diseases in the field of veterinary parasitology, especially in Indonesia,” Professor Prastowo began his speech.
Fasciolosis, or infection caused by the Fasciola worm, is often found in ruminants, especially cattle. To complete its life cycle and reach the infective stage to infect other animals, Fasciola requires Lymnaea snails as an intermediate host.
He explained that the treatment of fasciolosis in cattle can be done by administering anthelmintics or deworming drugs that target all stages of Fasciola development, such as triclabendazole, as well as those targeting adult Fasciola only, such as closantel and nitroxinil.
The prevention of fasciolosis can be done by reducing the population of intermediate hosts, administering anthelmintics, or improving husbandry management.
“The prevention of fasciolosis in countries with temperate climates can be controlled by administering molluscicides and anthelmintics at certain times of the year and reducing grazing frequency,” the newly appointed professor revealed.
“This differs from its application in Indonesia, which has a tropical climate with environmental conditions suitable for parasite development throughout the year and different livestock management practices.”
He further explained that cattle farming in Indonesia, especially on the island of Java, is primarily done in pens and rarely grazed. Residual agricultural products, especially rice straw or rice bran, are commonly given to livestock by farmers.
Fresh rice straw from rice fields plays a role in fasciolosis transmission because it is highly contaminated by metacercaria Fasciola sp. carried by intermediate hosts, snails.
In addition, some farmers still use fresh manure for fertilizing crops and use residual agricultural products for livestock feed.
This cycle causes fasciolosis cases to occur year-round, in addition to weather and climate factors and the availability of intermediate hosts.
Managing livestock manure through composting and proper feed storage can inhibit the development of eggs, thus interrupting the Fasciola life cycle and reducing transmission.
According to Professor Prastowo, investigations into the possibility of variations in lymnaeid snail species as intermediate hosts found in nature are still very much needed, especially concerning distribution and fluctuations in the occurrence of fasciolosis in ruminant livestock in a region.
“Furthermore, increasing the knowledge of farmers through community service programs can be enhanced so that the goal of controlling and preventing infections, both in animals and humans, can be achieved,” he concluded.