Praziquantel treatment of school children from single and mixed infection foci of intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis along the Senegal River Basin: monitoring treatment success and re-infection patterns.Acta Trop. 2013 Nov; 128(2):292-302.AT
Following major water development schemes in the 1980s, schistosomiasis has become a serious parasitic disease of children living in the Senegal River Basin. Both urogenital (Schistosoma haematobium) and intestinal (Schistosoma mansoni) schistosomiasis can be highly prevalent in school-aged children, with many individuals infected with both parasites. In order to investigate the transmission and re-infection dynamics of both parasite species, single and mixed infection foci at three villages (Nder and Temeye; S. mansoni and S. haematobium foci and Guia; S. haematobium focus) were studied. In each focus infected children were identified and selected for a 12-month study involving two treatments with praziquantel (40mg/kg) three weeks apart at the beginning of the study and again 6 months into the study. Urine and stool samples were examined for schistosome eggs before and at 6 weeks and 6 months after chemotherapy. Prevalence and intensity of infection were recorded for each child at each time point. Before treatment, in all three villages, the prevalence and intensity of infection was extremely high for both S. mansoni (79-100%) and S. haematobium (81-97%). With the first round of chemotherapy sufficient cure rates (CRs) of both species were achieved in all villages (38-96%) with high egg reduction rates (ERRs) (97-99%). The data show that high and rapid re-infection rates occur, especially for S. mansoni, within a six-month period following treatment. Re-infection must be highly linked to ecological and seasonal factors. The persistence of S. mansoni in Nder could raise concern as levels of infection intensity remain high (geometric mean intensity at baseline 653epg changed to 705epg at 12 months) after four rounds of chemotherapy. This phenomenon could be explained by extremely rapid re-infection dynamics or a sub-optimal efficacy of praziquantel against S. mansoni in this village. High intensities in mixed infections may influence disease epidemiology and control warranting further studies. The disease situation in the SRB must be monitored closely and new treatment regimes should be designed and implemented to control schistosomiasis in the school-age population.