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Schistosomiasis: Still a Cause of Significant Morbidity and Mortality

Authors Verjee MA

Received 11 February 2019

Accepted for publication 24 October 2019

Published 3 January 2020 Volume 2019:10 Pages 153—163


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mario Rodriguez-Perez

Video abstract presented by Mohamud A Verjee.

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Mohamud A Verjee

Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Qatar Foundation – Education City, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence: Mohamud A Verjee
University Institution Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar Qatar Foundation – Education City, Doha P O Box 24144, Qatar
Tel +974 4492 8504
Fax +974 4492 8555

Abstract: Tropical diseases remain severe threats to global health with acute or chronic debility. Public health issues are regularly monitored and reported by the WHO. Conditions with high prevalence and virulence such as Schistosomiasis or Malaria still need active treatment. Advances over the decades in the treatment and management of Schistosomiasis have reduced morbidity and mortality in patients. However, poverty, adverse environments, lack of education and awareness, with parasites and vectors that can thrive if uncontrolled, remain issues for the successful global eradication of Schistosomiasis. From the disease’s discovery in 1850, the author relates historical details to its current status. Several countries previously affected, including Japan and Tunisia, have eliminated the disease while others seek the same goal. Africa remains the most severely affected continent with vulnerable women and children, although the infection persists in South America and the Far East of Asia as well. Realistic improvements for continuing health conditions are vogue and emphasized for those at risk or afflicted by the infection, illustrating success models of concerted efforts of extirpation. Constant proximity to infected water, with a parasite host, are hurdles in reducing exposure. Effective medication for acute treatment is available, and prophylaxis by vaccination is promising. Where endemic Schistosomiasis is prevalent, significant morbidity and mortality have far-reaching complications in multiple human organ systems, including irreversible pulmonary hypertension, renal, genitourinary, central nervous system conditions, and neoplasia. Two hundred and thirty million people are estimated to have contracted Schistosomiasis globally, with up to 700 million still at risk of infection, and 200,000 deaths occur annually. The disease may be more prevalent than thought after newer tests have shown increased sensitivity to pathological antigens. The author discusses infectivity risks, investigations, prognosis, treatment, and management, as well as morbidity and mortality. 

Keywords: cercariae, egg load, granulomas, miracidia, morbidity, mortality, schistosomulae, cestode, trematode

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