Diagnosis and Treatment of Schistosomiasis in Children in the Era of Intensified Control

Stefanie Knopp; Sören L Becker; Katrin J Ingram; Jennifer Keiser; Jürg Utzinger


Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2013;11(11):1237-1258. 

In This Article

Five-year View

New bold goals and a roadmap for the control/elimination of schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases by 2020 are now in place. Importantly, the control of neglected tropical diseases is explicitly stated in the post-2015 agenda of sustainable development.[225] In light of these recent developments, we have every reason to believe that control/elimination of schistosomiasis will be further intensified. Political will and support from local governments, intersectoral collaboration and community ownership are crucial to consolidate achievements made and register additional progress. The development of efficacious and child-friendly drugs and vaccines that are easily administrable is crucial. Although there are current efforts to develop a child-friendly formulation of praziquantel, the current drug and vaccine pipelines are virtually empty, and hence new products will not enter the market anytime soon. With regard to diagnostics, considerable progress has been made in recent years, and hence we are convinced that new or further improved highly sensitive assays will be available in 5 years from now. High-quality operational research studies will be required to rigorously field test and scientifically evaluate the new or improved tools and strategies. We see the CAA-UCP test as a particularly promising tool that could be transformed into a rapid format. In our opinion, this test has the potential to become an indispensable assay for detecting low-intensity infections and for verification purposes of schistosomiasis elimination. Lots remains to be done and in view of the generation gap reported in parasitology, vector biology and disease control, it will be of particular importance that scientists, control managers and public health experts work closely together, being open to experience from the past as well as not reluctant to new ideas, to move toward large-scale and sustainable control and elimination of schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases.