Fascioliasis transmission, and it’s burden in Northern Vietnam

    Project Details


    Background of research topic

    Fascioliasis is a parasitic disease caused by the zoonotic worm species Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. This disease affects the liver of mammalian hosts and is primarily known for its high burden and associated economic impact in livestock. The annual global losses in animal production due to fascioliasis are estimated to be 3.2 billion US$. During the last decades, fascioliasis has also become an emerging public health problem. Today, it is estimated that 2.4 million people are infected, and 180 million people are at risk in over 70 countries. The most affected countries are Bolivia, Peru, Egypt, Iran and Vietnam.

    Aim of study

    Aiming at contributing to identification of prevalence and risk factors for fascioliasis transmission, which may ultimately result in a reduced number of new fascioliasis cases in Northern Vietnam, this project envisages i) to identify the prevalence of and associated risk factors for Fasciola spp. transmission, in Southeast Asia, and in northern Vietnam, and ii) to measure the economic and health burden of Fascioliasis in the area.


    The work packages of the PhD project are based on the work packages (WP) of the FWO-NAFOSTED project “FasciCoM”, see application document attached for more details. For WP2 and WP3, ethical clearance will be requested from the relevant institutional review boards in Vietnam and Belgium.

    First, a systematic literature review and meta-analysis will be conducted to identify prevalence and risk factors of Fascioliasis reported in the literature in Southeast Asia area (WP1).

    Secondly, an estimation of the prevalence of fascioliasis and risk factors will be conducted for northern Vietnam, by means of a cross-sectional study (WP2). A stratified random sampling approach will be used to select human participants. Participants will provide both stool and blood samples. Cattle will be randomly selected and sampled for faeces and blood. The main water bodies in the area will be randomly sampled for snails. Households will also be asked to retain samples of water plants consumed by household members. Simulations were run to estimate required sample sizes, envisaging a probability of 95% to attain the true prevalence and a maximum precision of 5% for each estimate. The desired sample size is 1,650 in human, 1,275 in cattle, 4500 in snails, and 6,975 in water plants.

    Lastly, the health and economic disease burden of fascioliasis will be estimated for Vietnam. First, the total number of human and animal cases in the country will be calculated. Subsequently, the health burden for humans, the societal burden on humans caused by animal losses and the costs per case, both for human and animal, are estimated. Once these metrics are calculated, the total health burden, expressed as zoonotic Disability Adjusted Life Years (zDALYs)7, as well as economic disease burden will be assessed.
    Effective start/end date6/07/22 → …