Schistosoma haematobium following school-based chemotherapy with praziquantel in four highly endemic villages in Côte d’Ivoire
We present the comparative evaluation of school-based chemotherapy with praziquantel on Schistosoma haematobium reinfection patterns, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after systematic treatment of schoolchildren in four villages of south-central Côte d’Ivoire. At baseline, very high S. haematobium infection prevalences of 88–94% were found in Taabo Village, located adjacent to a large man-made lake, and in Batera and Bodo, where small dams were constructed. In Assinzé, a village with no man-made environmental alterations, the baseline infection prevalence was significantly lower (67%). The parasitological cure rate, assessed 4 weeks after praziquantel administration in the village with the highest prevalence and intensity of infection, was high (82%), and showed a clear association with infection intensity prior to treatment. Six months after chemotherapy, significant reductions in the prevalence and intensity of infection were observed in all villages. However, infection prevalence was again high in Taabo Village (63%) and in Batera (49%). Different patterns of reinfection occurred in the four villages: rapid reinfection in Taabo Village to reach almost baseline infection prevalence 12 months post-treatment; slow but gradual increase in the prevalence and intensity of infection in Bodo; marked increase in prevalence and intensity of infection during the second year of the follow-up in Assinzé; and prevalence and intensity of infection that remained almost constant between 6 and 24 months post-treatment in Batera. Our study confirms that S. haematobium reinfection patterns largely depend on the local epidemiological setting, which is of central importance to tailoring treatment strategies that are well adapted to these different settings.