E.W. "Al" Thrasher
Status: Funded - Open
Childhood schistosomiasis: a novel strategy extending the benefits/reach of antihelminthic treatment
Francisca Mutapi, Ph.D.
BACKGROUND: Urogenital schistosomiasis is the second most important parasitic disease affecting child health and development in Africa. We have demonstrated that current and future schistosome-related morbidity in preschool children can be effectively reduced by a single antihelminthic treatment.
GAP: The best time (in terms of health benefits) to treat infected pre-school children remains unknown.
HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesise that treatment of schistosome infection upon its first detection lowers re-infection rates and morbidity levels more than delayed single treatment.
METHODS: 3-5 year old schistosome-negative children will be recruited into the longitudinal study. Half of the children will be screened every 3 months and treated upon first detection of infection while the other half will be screened only once at 12 months. Both groups will be followed for an additional 12 months to record re-infection rates and morbidity levels.
IMPACT: The project’s findings will indicate the best treatment timing in terms of health benefit and demonstrate how surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of first schistosome infections can be integrated into existing health systems.
Drug Therapy, Helminthes, Immunity, Prospective Cohort, Treatment, Human
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom, Zimbabwe