Common Name: Chinese Liver Fluke

Scientific Name: Clonorchis sinensis

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Platyhelminthes

Class: Trematoda

Order: Opisthorchiida

Family: Opisthorchiidae

Genus: Clonorchis

Species: C. sinensis

Chinese Liver Fluke is the common name for clonorchis sinensis. It can grow up to 10-25mm (0.39-0.98 in.). Its outer layer is a grayish color. One adaptation is the stomach. Some identifying characteristics are the oral/ anterior the ventral sucker, branched testes, a lobed ovary, follicular vitellaria and a convoluted uterus. You can also identify the pharynx and the esophagus. The 1st half of a Chinese Liver Fluke's life starts out in a freshwater environment. There are 2 different hosts: definitive and intermediate hosts. The definitive host is the final host of the Chinese Liver Fluke. Some definitive hosts are humans, pets, pigs, and reptiles. The intermediate host is the host before the definitive that pass on the Clonorchis Sinensis. The 1st intermediate hosts are usually a snail. The 2nd intermediate host can usually swim. Only certain kinds of freshwater fish can be 2nd intermediate hosts. Once the definitive eats the 2nd intermediate host, the Chinese Liver Fluke's environment is now a geographic habitat. It is primarily found in Eastern and South Pacific Asia. There are about 6,000 species of the Chinese Liver Fluke. Their population status is growing because of the passing of them from snails to fish to possibly humans.

People and cats that eat raw and undercooked fish near Asia are contributing to this change in population. The Clonorchis Sinensis role in the food web is difficult and easy to understand at the same time. In the beginning of its life, it feeds on the 1st and 2nd intermediate host's (snail and fish) reproductive and digestive systems. Then it feeds on the liver of the definitive host (reptiles, humans, etc.) They don't really compete for food with any other animal or parasite. They are basically the only flukes who feed on their definitive hosts liver near China, Japan, and Asia. Snails are the first to ingest the Chinese liver fluke. Then, only certain freshwater fish will ingest them. After that, humans, reptiles, pigs, and preditors that eat raw or undercooked freshwater fish will also eat the chinese liver fluke because at that time the chinese liver fluke would mostly likely be living in a fish.

What stood out to me when I was researching the clonorchis sinensis was that at first I thought I was researching a flatworm like a worm you would see outside, with slimy and muddy skin, but that was not the case. It turns out, clonorchis sinensis is a parasite that feeds on organisms' internal organs. I would have never thought that was what I was researching. I learned there are intermediate hosts to pass on the development of the Chinese liver fluke. I also learned that people who eat raw or undercooked fish usually get a Chinese liver fluke in their system. I didn't know it was a disease, but now I know. There are treatments to treat the disease.

Author: Marissa C

Published: 02/2008


Eckroad, Erica and Lee, Hanni "Animal Diversity Web" /clonorchis_sinensis.html, January 13, 2008 "University of Cambridge", January 18, 2008 The World Book Encyclopedia Volume 4, page 529 January 18, 2008 "Science Direct" "springer link", January 18,2008 "" 110_4_797_433Tf=10Ttt=14Tbt=0Tbts=0Tzu=http%3A// January 22,2008 "microvision- Clonorchis