Diagnosis and treatment of schistosomiasis in children in the era of intensified control.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland.
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.06). 10/2013; DOI: 10.1586/14787210.2013.844066
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the current era of intensified and integrated control against schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases, there is a need to carefully rethink and take into consideration disease-specific issues pertaining to the diagnosis, prevention, control and local elimination. Here, we present a comprehensive overview about schistosomiasis including recent trends in the number of people treated with praziquantel and the latest developments in diagnosis and control. Particular emphasis is placed on children. Identified research needs are offered for consideration; namely, expanding our knowledge about schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children, assessing and quantifying the impact of schistosomiasis on infectious and noncommunicable diseases, developing new antischistosomal drugs and child-friendly formulations, designing and implementing setting-specific control packages and developing highly sensitive, but simple diagnostic tools that are able to detect very light infections in young children and in people living in areas targeted for schistosomiasis elimination.

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    ABSTRACT: Background There is a paucity of data pertaining to the epidemiology and public health impact of Enterobius vermicularis and Strongyloides stercoralis infections. We aimed to determine the extent of enterobiasis, strongyloidiasis, and other helminth infections and their association with asymptomatic Plasmodium parasitaemia, anaemia, nutritional status, and blood cell counts in infants, preschool-aged (PSAC), and school-aged children (SAC) from rural coastal Tanzania.MethodsA total of 1,033 children were included in a cross-sectional study implemented in the Bagamoyo district in 2011/2012. Faecal samples were examined for intestinal helminth infections using a broad set of quality controlled methods. Finger-prick blood samples were subjected to filariasis and Plasmodium parasitaemia testing and full blood cell count examination. Weight, length/height, and/or mid-upper arm circumference were measured and the nutritional status determined in accordance with age.Results E. vermicularis infections were found in 4.2% of infants, 16.7%, of PSAC, and 26.3% of SAC. S. stercoralis infections were detected in 5.8%, 7.5%, and 7.1% of infants, PSAC, and SAC, respectively. Multivariable regression analyses revealed higher odds of enterobiasis in children of all age-groups with a reported anthelminthic treatment history over the past six months (odds ratio (OR): 2.15; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22 - 3.79) and in SAC with a higher temperature (OR: 2.21; CI: 1.13 - 4.33). Strongyloidiasis was associated with eosinophilia (OR: 2.04; CI: 1.20-3.48) and with Trichuris trichiura infections (OR: 4.13; CI: 1.04-16.52) in children of all age-groups, and with asymptomatic Plasmodium parasitaemia (OR: 13.03; CI: 1.34 - 127.23) in infants. None of the investigated helminthiases impacted significantly on the nutritional status and anaemia, but moderate asymptomatic Plasmodium parasitaemia was a strong predictor for anaemia in children aged older than two years (OR: 2.69; 95% CI: 1.23 ¿ 5.86).Conclusions E. vermicularis and S. stercoralis infections were moderately prevalent in children from rural coastal Tanzania. Our data can contribute to inform yet missing global burden of disease and prevalence estimates for strongyloidiasis and enterobiasis. The association between S stercoralis and asymptomatic Plasmodium parasitaemia found here warrants further comprehensive investigations.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 12/2014; 14(1):644. DOI:10.1186/s12879-014-0644-7 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that occurs in the tropics and subtropics. The mainstay of control is preventive chemotherapy with praziquantel. In Africa, an estimated 230 million people require preventive chemotherapy. In western Cote d'Ivoire, infections with Schistosoma mansoni are widespread. To provide an evidence-base for programme decisions about preventive chemotherapy to sustain control of schistosomiasis, a 5-year multi-country study with different treatment arms has been designed by the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) and is currently been implemented in various African settings, including Cote d'Ivoire. We report the study protocol, including ethics statement and insight from a large-scale eligibility survey carried out in four provinces in western Cote d'Ivoire. The study protocol has been approved by the ethics committees of Basel and Cote d'Ivoire. A total of 12,110 children, aged 13-14 years, from 264 villages were screened for S. mansoni using duplicate Kato-Katz thick smears from single stool samples. Among the schools with a S. mansoni prevalence of 10-24%, 75 schools were selected and randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms. In each school, three stool samples are being collected from 100 children aged 9-12 years annually and one stool sample from 100 first-year students at baseline and in the final year and subjected to duplicate Kato-Katz thick smears. Cost and coverage data for the different intervention arms, along with environmental, political and other characteristics that might impact on the infection prevalence and intensity will be recorded in each study year, using a pretested village inventory form. The study will document changes in S. mansoni infection prevalence and intensity according to different treatment schemes. Moreover, factors that determine the effectiveness of preventive chemotherapy will be identified. These factors will help to develop reasonable measures of force of transmission that can be used to make decisions about the most cost-effective means of lowering prevalence, intensity and transmission in a given village. The gathered information and results will inform how to effectively sustain control of schistosomiasis at a low level in different social-ecological contexts.Trial registration: ISRCTN99401114 (date assigned: 12 November 2014).
    BMC Public Health 12/2014; 14(1):1290. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1290 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have been conducted quantifying the impact of schistosome infections on health and development in school-aged children. In contrast, relatively little is known about morbidity levels in preschool-aged children (≤5 years) who have been neglected in terms of schistosome research and control. The aim of this study was to compare the utility of available point-of-care (POC) morbidity diagnostic tools in preschool versus primary school-aged children (6-10 years) and determine markers which can be used in the field to identify and quantify Schistosoma haematobium-related morbidity. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the performance of currently available POC morbidity diagnostic tools on Zimbabwean children aged 1-5 years (n=104) and 6-10 years (n=194). Morbidity was determined using the POC diagnostics questionnaire-based reporting of haematuria and dysuria, clinical examination, urinalysis by dipsticks, and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR). Attributable fractions were used to quantify the proportion of morbidity attributable to S. haematobium infection. Based on results of attributable fractions, UACR was identified as the most reliable tool for detecting schistosome-related morbidity, followed by dipsticks, visual urine inspection, questionnaires, and lastly clinical examination. The results of urine dipstick attributes showed that proteinuria and microhaematuria accounted for most differences between schistosome egg-positive and negative children (T=-50.1; p<0.001). These observations were consistent in preschool vs. primary school-aged children. Preschool-aged children in endemic areas can be effectively screened for schistosome-related morbidity using the same currently available diagnostic tools applicable to older children. UACR for detecting albuminuria is recommended as the best choice for rapid assessment of morbidity attributed to S. haematobium infection in children in the field. The use of dipstick microhaematuria and proteinuria as additional indicators of schistosome-related morbidity would improve the estimation of disease burden in young children.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 03/2015; 9(3):e0003649. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003649 · 4.49 Impact Factor

Soeren Leif Becker