A multidisciplinary, integrated approach for the elimination of schistosomiasis: a longitudinal study in a historically hyper-endemic region in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China from 2005 to 2014.Infect Dis Poverty. 2017 Mar 14; 6(1):56.ID
Although great success has been achieved, schistosomiasis remains a major public health concern in China, and the remaining core endemic regions are concentrated along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. In this longitudinal study, we evaluated the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary, integrated approach for schistosomiasis elimination in a historically hyper-endemic region in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China over the 10-year period from 2005 through 2014.
A three-step roadmap for schistosomiasis elimination was designed in the study site, and multidisciplinary, integrated interventions were implemented by the health, agriculture, water resources development, land and resources, and forestry sectors from 2005 to 2014, including chemotherapy for infected individuals, health education, management of the source of Schistosoma japonicum infection, and intermediate host snail control. The annual number of schistosomiasis patients, S. japonicum infection in humans, bovines and Oncomelania hupensis snails, and water infectivity were observed to assess the effectiveness of the multidisciplinary, integrated approach for the elimination of schistosomiasis.
There was a tendency towards a gradual decline in both the number of schistosomiasis cases and the prevalence of S. japonicum human infection across the study period from 2005 through 2014. No S. japonicum human infection was detected since 2012, and no acute infection was seen since 2006. During the study period, no infection was found in bovines, and a 0.03% overall infection rate was observed in O. hupensis snails. Since 2009, no infected snails were identified, and the area of both snail habitats and infected snail habitats appeared a reduction over the study period. Following the 3-year multidisciplinary, integrated control, infection control was achieved, and transmission control was achieved after 6-year implementation, with all infected snails and water infectivity eliminated; in addition, the 10-year implementation resulted in interruption of schistosomiasis transmission in the study site in 2014.
The results of the present 10-year longitudinal study demonstrate that the multidisciplinary, integrated approach is effective for the elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China.