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Susceptibility of Schistosoma japonicum to praziquantel in China

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To look for possible evidence of the development of resistance in Schistosoma japonicum to praziquantel, we conducted a field study in China. During the non-transmission period of schistosomiasis a random sample of 2860 individuals from six villages in three provinces of China were examined using a parasitological stool examination. Of the 372 stool-positive subjects, 363 subjects were treated with a single oral dose of 40 mg/kg of praziquantel. Six to Seven weeks after treatment, of 334 subjects examined using the same stool examination, stool-negative results were found in 319 patients which represents a 95.5% parasitologic cure rate. Fifteen subjects still excreting eggs were treated a second time with the same dose of praziquantel. All stool samples, including those from participants re-treated with praziquantel, were re-examined 12 weeks after the first treatment and no stool-positive subjects were found. The results indicate that there was no evidence for reduced susceptibility of S. japonicum to praziquantel despite its extensive use in the main endemic areas of China for more than 10 years. The in vitro responses to praziquantel of cercariae, miracidia and eggs of S. japonicum compared with S. mansoni demonstrate that the cercariae, miracidia and eggs of S. japonicum are more sensitive to praziquantel than those of S. mansoni. More sensitive worms would be less likely to develop resistance and this could explain why no evidence for resistance was found in S. japonicum in China.
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Keywords: China; S. mansoni; Schistosoma japonicum; chemotherapy; drug resistance; praziquantel; schistosomiasis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Wuxi, Jiangsu, PR China 2: Jiangxi Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Nanchang, Jiangxi, PR China 3: Hunan Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Yueyang, Hunan, PR China 4: Hubei Institute of Schistosomiasis Control, Wuhang, Hubei, PR China 5: Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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