Heterophyes infection is caused by consuming raw or brackish water or undercooked freshwater fish that has been contaminated. Depending on the species, flukes are parasitic flatworms that affect different body parts, such as the blood vessels, digestive tract, lungs, and liver.

Metacercariae are parasitic worms that attach to the lining of the small intestine if they are eaten. There, they grow into adults that are about 1.0–1.7 mm long and 0.3–0.4 mm wide. Flukes could lay eggs in the mucosa, and those eggs would then get into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system.

Heterophyes infection grows naturally in East Asia but is also often found in the Middle East, Sudan, Egypt, and southeastern Europe.


Most of the time, people have no idea they have a heterophyes infection. Individuals with weak immune systems or serious health conditions are more likely to have symptoms. Some of the things that could happen nine days after eating infected fish are the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Dyspepsia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Malabsorption
  • Eosinophilia

Keep in mind that adult flukes cause painful diarrhea and stomach pain.


Your doctor can detect heterophyes infection by examining your symptoms and medical history.  The infection can be identified by the presence of yellow-brown eggs about 30 mcm by 15 mcm in size in the stool. The egg of H. heterophyes is the same shape and size as the eggs of Clonorchis and Opisthorchis. Other than that, it is identical to the egg of M. yokogawai.

Although the operculum is more thoroughly seated in the eggs of Opisthorchis and Clonorchis, and heterophyid trematodes often lack an abopercular knob, it may be challenging to distinguish these eggs from those of those trematodes. Such distinction can be crucial for medical purposes.


The treatment for heterophyes infection includes Praziquantel. Three doses of 75 mg/kg are needed to be administered in one day. You should also avoid eating undercooked or raw fish if you don’t want to be infected with Heterophyes infection. 

Additionally, you should speak with your healthcare provider about additional treatments that would be appropriate for your symptoms.

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