Intrahepatic biliary lesions were observed in two of 12 lambs, seven of 12 yearlings and 10 of 25 adult impala (Aepyceros melampus) surveyed in the Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa. Lesions were associated with the nematode Cooperioides hepaticae, a trichostrongyloid parasite that inhabits the bile ducts of impala, and ranged from a mild chronic-eosinophilic cholangitis to foci of florid hyperplastic cholangitis with duct ectasia. The latter almost always contained viable worms and, after the worms died, the lesions appeared as foreign-body granulomas. Infection was acquired early in life; severe lesions were seen most frequently in yearlings. Adults were less severely infected, which suggested an acquired immunity. Although the incidence of infection was high, cooperiiasis did not appear to be a serious herd-health problem at the time of this study.
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Vol. 24 • No. 4