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Free Content Praziquantel efficacy and long-term appraisal of schistosomiasis control in Pemba Island

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Summary Objective 

To determine whether praziquantel (PZQ) has retained its efficacy against Schistosoma haematobium on Pemba Island after 20 years of mass administration -albeit discontinuous- and to analyse retrospectively the performance of schistosomiasis control programmes. Methods 

A sample of Pemba schoolchildren was examined before and after PZQ treatment by urine filtration, macro- and micro-haematuria and viability of excreted eggs. Results 

Although 5% of treated children continued to pass some eggs in the urine up to the seventh week after PZQ administration, none of these eggs was viable, indicating an effective schistosomicidal activity followed by a slow release of dead eggs from host tissues. Conclusion 

No signs of PZQ resistance could be detected in the population under study. An overall retrospective analysis of schistosomiasis control activities in Pemba Island revealed that mass drug administration is clearly effective in reducing infection prevalence, but soon after interruption of drug distribution prevalence returns rapidly to pre-intervention levels.

Keywords: Schistosoma haematobium; drug resistance; egg viability; mass drug administration; praziquantel; sustainable control

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Institute of Cell Biology, National Research Council, Monterotondo, Rome, Italy 2:  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK 3:  Public Health Laboratory Ivo de Carneri, Pemba, Zanzibar 4:  Fondazione Ivo de Carneri, Milan, Italy

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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