Fasciola hepatica, also known as the common liver fluke or sheep liver fluke, is a parasitic trematode (fluke or flatworm, a type of helminth) of the class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes. It infects the livers of various mammals, including humans, and is transmitted by sheep and cattle to humans the world over. The disease caused by the fluke is called fasciolosis or fascioliasis, which is a type of helminthiasis and has been classified as a neglected tropical disease. Fasciolosis is currently classified as a plant/food-borne trematode infection, often acquired through eating the parasite's metacercariae encysted on plants. F. hepatica, which is distributed worldwide, has been known as an important parasite of sheep and cattle for decades and causes significant economic losses in these livestock species, up to £23 million in the UK alone. Because of its relatively large size and economic importance, it has been the subject of many scientific investigations and may be the best-known of any trematode species. F. hepatica's closest relative is Fasciola gigantica. These two flukes are sister species; they share many morphological features and can mate with each other.