Use of praziquantel for clinical treatment and morbidity control of schistosomiasis japonica in China: a review of 30 years' experience.Acta Trop. 2005 Nov-Dec; 96(2-3):168-76.AT
Chemotherapy is widely acknowledged as the most important, rapid and cost-effective method of reducing morbidity due to schistosome infections. The discovery of praziquantel in the 1970s has been a breakthrough for treatment of patients infected with schistosomes, including Schistosoma japonicum in China, and entire communities at risk of schistosomiasis. Praziquantel is usually administered in a single oral dose and has no or only mild and transient side effects. The drug is highly efficacious against S. japonicum, both in patients with acute and chronic stages of the infection, among subjects with extensive hepatosplenic involvement, and in patients with other complicated diseases. The cost of praziquantel has been reduced significantly over the past years. Hence, praziquantel has become the backbone of the national schistosomiasis control programme in China and in other countries where the disease remains endemic, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa. Chemotherapy with praziquantel also plays a role in transmission control of schistosomiasis, although transmission interruption cannot be reached by chemotherapy alone. Here, I review 30 years' of experiences gained with the use of praziquantel for clinical treatment and larger-scale control of schistosomiasis japonica in China.