What is the prevalence of CNS schistosomiasis?

Updated: Jun 11, 2020
  • Author: Shadab Hussain Ahmed, MD, AAHIVS, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Because of its smaller egg size, S japonicum causes 60% of all Schistosoma brain infections, [36] with CNS involvement occurring in 2-4% of all S japonicum infections. One million people in China are estimated to be infected with S japonicum. [37] Nodular, enhancing cerebellar lesions can occur as well with this species. [37]

However, CNS schistosomiasis can also occur with other species. Spinal schistosomiasis usually presents as transverse myelitis and is primarily due to S mansoni infection because of the larger egg size. [36] S haematobium can infect the brain or spinal cord. [36]

The distribution of S mekongi is limited to the Mekong River basin in Laos and Cambodia, where some 140,000 people are estimated to be at risk for this infection. Temporal mass causing paraesthesias of the arm and leg with dysphasia has been described with S mekongi infection. [8] Neurologic symptoms can develop months after the infection. Cauda equina syndrome, anterior spinal artery syndrome, and quadriparesis can occur. Most of the lower spinal cord is affected. [36]

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