Heavy metals such as lead and copper when present in large concentrations in the environment can have detrimental effects on living organisms. This study identified the presence of lead and copper in liver flukes, Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica and in liver tissues of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) as potential heavy metal bioaccumulators using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Both the uninfected and infected liver tissues and the liver flukes were found positive for lead and copper. Lead concentration levels of 5.162 μg/g in uninfected liver tissue sample, 5.422 μg/g in infected liver tissue, 9.692 μg/g in F. hepatica, and 7.754 μg/g in F. gigantica were detected, while copper concentration levels of 6.742 μg/g in uninfected liver tissue, 2.278 μg/g in infected liver tissue, 24.75 μg/g in F. hepatica, and 32.98 μg/g in F. gigantica were observed. Liver flukes showed a greater concentration of both copper and lead than the liver tissues suggesting that these parasites can serve as bioaccumulators of heavy metals and bioindicators of environmental pollution.
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