Current control and treatment of schistosomiasis

The main focus of schistosomiasis control is to reduce the rates of morbidity through the use of prevention methods such as :


  • Improved sanitation

  • Improved levels of health education and hygiene levels
  • Improved access to clean and safe water

Drugs can also be used in the treatment of schistosomiasis. The chemotherapy drug Praziquantel is the most effective method of treatment as it can safely target all forms of schistosomiasis. Other drugs that are also used in the prevention of schistosomiasis are albendazole and mebendazole. Although the use of these drugs are effective in the treatment of schistosomiasis, it does not prevent against reinfection.
The main groups that are of high risk are children (particularly school age), pregnant and lactating women, farmers and fisherman.

Many community based forms of treatment are being developed to combat schistosomiasis. It is thought that effective strategies for treatment will involve these components:



Vaccine development.

It is thought that immunity from schistosomiasis can develop after treatment from chemotherapeutic drugs and with increasing age. This has given hope that a vaccine can be created for this disease. There is one main potential vaccine for schistosomiasis that has been entered into clinical trials called BILHVAX but more vaccines are currently in development.

(WHO, 2010; Hotez et al., 2007;McManus and Loukas., 2008)

True-False Question
Please complete this short true or false quiz after reading this section to test your knowledge on control and treatment of schistosomiasis.

The main at risk groups of schistosomiasis are the elderly.

True False

Antihelmithic and chemotherapy drugs are one of the most effective methods of treating schistosomiasis.

True False

Improved sanitation and hygiene education is important in the control of schistosomiasis

True False