18 May 2020

Publication: Sensitive diagnostic tools and targeted drug administration strategies needed to eliminate schistosomiasis

While current treatment strategies have been instrumental in managing the disease burden of schistosomiasis, there are still many challenges remaining in the fight to end the spread of the disease.

Earlier this month, members from the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium together with other experts published a comprehensive overview of the problems being faced and the approach that is required to truly work towards a strategy of elimination.

The paper, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, notes that the schistosomiasis control strategies recommended by the WHO should be re-evaluated and possibly adapted. In a thorough review that outlines the challenges of the current approach, the authors argue for the importance of precision mapping to guide more targeted interventions, and the need for highly accurate diagnostic tools to obtain an accurate measure of infection burden.

Only by taking a multi-faceted approach that incorporates better local targeting of preventive chemotherapy in combination with highly sensitive diagnostic tools, will researchers and health-care workers be able to stop the spread of schistosomiasis and eventually eliminate the disease.