Schistosomiasis : A Silent Killer Don't Ignore It

Schistosomiasis : A Silent Killer Don't Ignore It

Schistosomiasis, additionally recognized as bilharzia or snail fever, is a parasitic ailment prompted by the aid of a kind of flatworm known as schistosomes.

Schistosomiasis, additionally recognized as bilharzia or snail fever, is a parasitic ailment prompted by the aid of a kind of flatworm known as schistosomes.

The ailment is universal in tropical and subtropical regions, in particular in negative and rural communities with restrained right of entry to easy water and ample sanitation. Schistosomiasis is in particular transmitted via contact with contaminated freshwaters, such as lakes, rivers, and streams, the place where the parasite's intermediate host, freshwater snails, thrive.

Schistosomiasis is a tremendous public fitness concern, with an estimated 240 million humans contaminated worldwide, and it is categorised as an ignored tropical disorder by the World Health Organization.

What is Schistosomiasis?

Schistosomiasis, additionally recognized as bilharzia or snail fever, is a parasitic contamination triggered using flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. The contamination is transmitted when humans come into contact with water that is contaminated with the parasite.

This can appear when human beings swim, bathe, or wash in infested water sources, which are generally determined in rural areas of growing nations with bad sanitation and hygiene practices.

Once the parasite enters the human body, it travels through the bloodstream to a variety of organs, the place it can cause a variety of symptoms, consisting of pores and skin rash, fever, cough, belly pain, diarrhoea, and blood in the urine or stool. If left untreated, schistosomiasis can lead to continual fitness issues such as anaemia, liver damage, kidney failure, and bladder cancer.

Epidemiology of Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is a sizable parasitic disease, mainly in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, affecting an estimated 240 million humans worldwide.

The sickness is most well-known in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 90% of instances occur.

Other high-burden areas encompass components of Asia and South America. Schistosomiasis is in particular a disorder of poverty, as it is intently linked to bad sanitation and hygiene practices and confined to easy water.

Individuals who stay in rural areas with restraints get entry to easy water and sanitation services are at greater chance of infection, as are those who work in agriculture or fishing, as they are extra possible to come into contact with contaminated water sources.

Children are especially prone to schistosomiasis, as they are greater in all likelihood to the playground around contaminated water sources and their growing immune structures can also be much less capable of battling off the infection.

Schistosomiasis can additionally have a great impact on women's health, as it can cause anaemia, infertility, and issues at some point in pregnancy.

Efforts to manage schistosomiasis have centred on enhancing entry to smooth water and sanitation facilities, as well as advertising and conducting alternate and neighbourhood schooling around secure water practices.

Mass drug administration programs, which furnish therapy to complete communities, have additionally been nice in decreasing the burden of schistosomiasis in endemic areas.

Pathophysiology of Schistosomiasis

  • Schistosomiasis is caused by contamination with flatworms of the genus Schistosoma.

The parasite's existence cycle entails two hosts:

  • People
  • Freshwater snails

Schistosomes launch larvae into the water, which are then ingested utilizing snails, where they strengthen into cercariae, the infective stage of the parasite.

Cercariae are then launched into the water, the place they can penetrate human skin, coming into the bloodstream and touring quite several organs.

In the human host, the person worms mate and produce eggs, which can cause a variety of signs and fitness complications, relying on the place they motel in the body.

Some of the eggs are excreted in the urine or stool, whilst others emerge as trapped in tissues, leading to infection and scarring.

Chronic contamination can lead to long-term fitness problems, such as liver and kidney damage, bladder cancer, and anaemia.

The pathophysiology of schistosomiasis is complicated and entails the direct outcomes of the parasite on the host's tissues and organs and the immune response established through the host to fight the infection.

The parasite's capacity to stay clear of the host's immune machine is a key issue in its capability to set up persistent contamination and purpose long-term damage.

The host's immune response to schistosomiasis is charactusingeans as a Th2-dominated response, involving the manufacturing of particular antibodies, eosinophils, and different immune cells.

This response performs a position in controlling the infection, however, it can additionally contribute to tissue injury and inflammation.

Overall, the pathophysiology of schistosomiasis is complicated and multifaceted, involving the interactions between the parasite, the host's immune system, and a variety of tissues and organs.

A higher appreciation of these interactions is quintessential for the improvement of high-quality remedies and prevention techniques for this not noted tropical disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Schistosomiasis

The symptoms and signs of schistosomiasis can range depending on the stage and severity of the infection.

Some human beings might also no longer ride any symptoms, whilst others may additionally enhance acute or continual symptoms.

The most frequent signs of schistosomiasis include:

Skin rash

 A rash may additionally strengthen at the website online the place the parasite entered the body.


An accepted itchy feeling, especially around the website the place the parasite entered the body, may also occur.


A low-grade fever might also develop, in particular at some point in the acute section of the infection.


A dry cough may also occur, in particular at some point in the acute segment of the infection.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain, especially around the liver and spleen, can also occur.


Diarrhoea and different gastrointestinal signs may additionally occur, in particular all through the acute section of the infection.

Blood in urine or stool

Blood may additionally show up in the urine or stool, in particular in continual instances of the infection.


A general feeling of fatigue and malaise may also occur, mainly in a persistent instant the infection.

In some cases, schistosomiasis can lead to long-term fitness troubles such as anaemia, liver and kidney damage, bladder cancer, and infertility.

Diagnosis of Schistosomiasis

The analysis of schistosomiasis is usually made by figuring out the parasite's eggs in stool or urine samples using microscopy.

However, the sensitivity of this technique can be low, especially for the duration of the early ranges of infection.

In addition to the microscopic examination of samples, different diagnostic checks that may additionally be used include:


 Blood checks that observe antibodies in opposition to schistosome antigens can be beneficial in figuring out persons who have been uncovered to the parasite, though they may also now not be dependable for the prognosis of energetic infection.

Polymerase chain response (PCR)

PCR-based checks can observe the presence of schistosome DNA in blood, urine, or stool samples, supplying an extra touchy and precise approach to diagnosis.

Imaging tests

Imaging exams such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to become aware of and consider the extent of organ injury precipitated via continual infection.

It is essential to notice that analysis of schistosomiasis can be challenging, specifically in areas where the ailment is endemic and co-infection with different parasites and illnesses is common.

A thorough scientific evaluation, alongside consideration of the individual's tour records and viable publicity of contaminated water sources, can be useful in making a diagnosis.

Complications of Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can lead to a variety of complications, especially if left untreated or if continual contamination occurs.

Some of the plausible problems of schistosomiasis include:


Chronic contamination with Schistosoma parasites can lead to anaemia, which takes place when there are no longer adequate purple blood cells in the body.

Liver damage

The parasites can cause irritation and scarring of the liver, which can lead to liver dysfunction and even liver failure in extreme cases.

Bladder and kidney damage

Infection with Schistosoma parasites can lead to infection and scarring of the bladder and urinary tract, which can cause blood in the urine, painful urination, and urinary tract infections.

Over time, this can lead to bladder cancer and kidney damage.

Intestinal damage

Schistosoma parasites can additionally cause irritation and scarring of the intestines, leading to malabsorption of vitamins and diarrhoea.


Chronic contamination with Schistosoma parasites can lead to infertility in each guy and woman, due to harm to the reproductive organs.

Increased danger of HIV transmission

Schistosomiasis contamination can extend the hazard of HIV transmission, as the infection and tissue harm triggered by using the parasites can create entry factors for HIV.

Overall, the issues of schistosomiasis can be extreme and can lead to long-term fitness problems. Early detection and therapy of the contamination can assist to forestall or decrease these complications.

Treatment of Schistosomiasis

The therapy of schistosomiasis usually entails the use of a medicine referred to as praziquantel, which is high-quality in opposition to all species of Schistosoma parasites.

Praziquantel works by inflicting the parasites' muscular tissues to contract and die, permitting the physique to remove them.

The dosage and period of cure rely on the severity of the infection, the species of parasite involved, and the individual's age and weight.

Typically, a single dose of praziquantel is given, and a repeat remedy can also be quintessential if the contamination persists or recurs.

In addition to medication, supportive care may additionally be fundamental to control the signs of schistosomiasis, such as anti-inflammatory tablets for fever and pain, or blood transfusions in instances of extreme anaemia.

Preventive measures are additionally necessary for controlling the unfolding of schistosomiasis.

These measures include:

Avoiding contact with contaminated water sources, especially in endemic areas.

Treating contaminated water sources with chemical substances or filters.

Promoting hygiene practices such as hand washing and suited disposal of human waste.

Educating communities about the dangers and prevention of schistosomiasis.

In addition, mass drug administration (MDA) applications may additionally be carried out in endemic areas to deal with whole populations at risk of infection. MDA has been proven to be wonderful in lowering the occurrence of schistosomiasis in some areas, though the long-term sustainability of these packages is nevertheless being evaluated.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disorder brought about by way of Schistosoma parasites that stay in freshwater snails and can infect people when they come into contact with contaminated water.

Preventive measures, such as heading off contact with contaminated water sources and promoting hygiene practices, are additionally essential in controlling the unfolding of the disease.

Schistosomiasis : Elimination is possible with collective efforts!