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      Modelling control of Schistosoma haematobium infection: predictions of the long-term impact of mass drug administration in Africa

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          Effective control of schistosomiasis remains a challenging problem for endemic areas of the world. Given knowledge of the biology of transmission and past experience with mass drug administration (MDA) programs, it is important to critically evaluate the likelihood that MDA programs will achieve substantial reductions in Schistosoma prevalence. In implementing the World Health Organization Roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases it would useful for policymaking to model projections of the status of Schistosoma control in MDA-treated areas in the next 5–10 years.


          Calibrated mathematical models were used to project the effects of different frequency and coverage of MDA for schistosomiasis haematobia control in present-day endemic communities, taking into account uncertainties of parasite biology and input data. The modeling approach in this analysis was the Stratified Worm Burden model developed in our earlier works, calibrated using data from longitudinal S. haematobium control trials in Kenya.


          Model-based simulations of MDA control in typical low-risk and higher-risk communities indicated that infection prevalence can be substantially reduced within 10 years only when there is a high degree of community participation (>70 %) with at least annual MDA. Significant risk for re-emergence of infection remains if MDA is suspended.


          In a stable (stationary) ecosystem, Schistosoma reproduction and transmission are sufficiently robust that the process of human infection continues, even under pressure from aggressive MDA. MDA alone is unlikely to interrupt transmission, and once mass treatment is suspended, the prevalence of human infection is likely to rebound to pre-control levels over a period of 25–30 years. MDA success in achieving very low levels of infection prevalence is highly dependent on treatment coverage and frequency within the local human population, and requires that both adults and children be included in drug delivery coverage. Ultimately, supplemental snail control and significant improvements in sanitation will be required to achieve full control of schistosomiasis by elimination of ongoing Schistosoma transmission.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-015-1144-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.

          Non-fatal health outcomes from diseases and injuries are a crucial consideration in the promotion and monitoring of individual and population health. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) studies done in 1990 and 2000 have been the only studies to quantify non-fatal health outcomes across an exhaustive set of disorders at the global and regional level. Neither effort quantified uncertainty in prevalence or years lived with disability (YLDs). Of the 291 diseases and injuries in the GBD cause list, 289 cause disability. For 1160 sequelae of the 289 diseases and injuries, we undertook a systematic analysis of prevalence, incidence, remission, duration, and excess mortality. Sources included published studies, case notification, population-based cancer registries, other disease registries, antenatal clinic serosurveillance, hospital discharge data, ambulatory care data, household surveys, other surveys, and cohort studies. For most sequelae, we used a Bayesian meta-regression method, DisMod-MR, designed to address key limitations in descriptive epidemiological data, including missing data, inconsistency, and large methodological variation between data sources. For some disorders, we used natural history models, geospatial models, back-calculation models (models calculating incidence from population mortality rates and case fatality), or registration completeness models (models adjusting for incomplete registration with health-system access and other covariates). Disability weights for 220 unique health states were used to capture the severity of health loss. YLDs by cause at age, sex, country, and year levels were adjusted for comorbidity with simulation methods. We included uncertainty estimates at all stages of the analysis. Global prevalence for all ages combined in 2010 across the 1160 sequelae ranged from fewer than one case per 1 million people to 350,000 cases per 1 million people. Prevalence and severity of health loss were weakly correlated (correlation coefficient -0·37). In 2010, there were 777 million YLDs from all causes, up from 583 million in 1990. The main contributors to global YLDs were mental and behavioural disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes or endocrine diseases. The leading specific causes of YLDs were much the same in 2010 as they were in 1990: low back pain, major depressive disorder, iron-deficiency anaemia, neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anxiety disorders, migraine, diabetes, and falls. Age-specific prevalence of YLDs increased with age in all regions and has decreased slightly from 1990 to 2010. Regional patterns of the leading causes of YLDs were more similar compared with years of life lost due to premature mortality. Neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and anaemia were important causes of YLDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Rates of YLDs per 100,000 people have remained largely constant over time but rise steadily with age. Population growth and ageing have increased YLD numbers and crude rates over the past two decades. Prevalences of the most common causes of YLDs, such as mental and behavioural disorders and musculoskeletal disorders, have not decreased. Health systems will need to address the needs of the rising numbers of individuals with a range of disorders that largely cause disability but not mortality. Quantification of the burden of non-fatal health outcomes will be crucial to understand how well health systems are responding to these challenges. Effective and affordable strategies to deal with this rising burden are an urgent priority for health systems in most parts of the world. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Human schistosomiasis.

            Human schistosomiasis--or bilharzia--is a parasitic disease caused by trematode flukes of the genus Schistosoma. By conservative estimates, at least 230 million people worldwide are infected with Schistosoma spp. Adult schistosome worms colonise human blood vessels for years, successfully evading the immune system while excreting hundreds to thousands of eggs daily, which must either leave the body in excreta or become trapped in nearby tissues. Trapped eggs induce a distinct immune-mediated granulomatous response that causes local and systemic pathological effects ranging from anaemia, growth stunting, impaired cognition, and decreased physical fitness, to organ-specific effects such as severe hepatosplenism, periportal fibrosis with portal hypertension, and urogenital inflammation and scarring. At present, preventive public health measures in endemic regions consist of treatment once every 1 or 2 years with the isoquinolinone drug, praziquantel, to suppress morbidity. In some locations, elimination of transmission is now the goal; however, more sensitive diagnostics are needed in both the field and clinics, and integrated environmental and health-care management will be needed to ensure elimination. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Conquering schistosomiasis in China: the long march.

              The last half-century of schistosomiasis control activities in China have brought down the overall prevalence of human infection with Schistosoma japonicum to less than 10% of the level initially documented in the mid 1950s. Importantly, this reduction is not only, or even mainly, due to the advent of praziquantel in the 1970s and its subsequent dramatic fall in price. Instead, it is the result of a sustained, multifaceted national strategy, adapted to different eco-epidemiological settings, which has been versatile enough to permit subtle adjustments over time as the nature of the challenge changed. Consequently, prevalence has been falling relatively smoothly over the whole period rather than suddenly dropping when mass chemotherapy became feasible. Thus, early recognition of the huge public health and economic significance of the disease, and the corresponding political will to do something about it,underpinned this success. In addition, intersectoral collaboration and community participation played important roles in forming a sustained commitment to a working control strategy based on local resources. The unfolding story is presented from the early years' strong focus on snail control, by means of environmental management, to the last period of praziquantel-based morbidity control carried out under the 10-year World Bank Loan Project (WBLP). An important legacy of the WBLP is the understanding that a research component would sustain control measures and enable future progress. We are now witnessing the payoffs of this forward thinking in the form of a new promising class of drugs, improved diagnostics, and budding vaccine development in addition to novel ways of disease risk prediction and transmission control using satellite-based remote sensing. Different aspects of social and economic approaches are also covered and the importance of health promotion and education is emphasized. Issuing from the review is a set of recommendations, which might further consolidate current control activities, with the ultimate aim to eliminate schistosomiasis from the Chinese mainland.

                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 October 2015
                22 October 2015
                : 8
                [ ]Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio USA
                [ ]Center for Global Health and Diseases, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio USA
                [ ]Department of Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, Connecticut USA
                [ ]Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Imperial College, Norfolk Place, St Mary’s Campus, London, UK
                [ ]Universidade Catholica de Moçambique, Beira, Mozambique
                [ ]Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia USA
                © Gurarie et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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