19 June 2020

Publication: Schistosomiasis Control: Leave No Age Group Behind

The current treatment and monitoring strategies for schistosomiasis control programs mainly focus on school-aged children, with much less attention given to pre-school age children and adults.

The gaps in the current methods of control are leading to health inequities, as addressed in a recent publication in Trends in Parasitology.

The publication was inspired by a panel session at last year’s European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH), which examined the impacts of schistosomiasis across all ages. Dr Jutta Reinhard-Rupp, Chair of the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium Board and Head of the Merck Global Health Institute, was a contributing author.

The paper notes that control and elimination of schistosomiasis will require the integration of all age groups into treatment programs. In the case of pre-school age children, it suggests that a 'test and treat' approach (pending roll-out of the pediatric praziquantel formulation) could significantly reduce infection and disease burden in this age group.

Publication in Trends in Parasitology: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2020.04.012