Schistosomiasis is a widespread chronic neglected tropical disease prevalent mostly in children in under-resourced rural areas. Its pathological effects have been clinically characterized, yet the molecular-level effects are understudied. In this study, the biochemical effects of Schistosoma mansoni infection and praziquantel treatment were studied in 130 preschool aged and 159 school aged infected children and 11 noninfected children in Azaguié, Côte d'Ivoire. Urine samples were collected prior to receiving 20, 40, or 60 mg/kg of praziquantel or a placebo, as well as 24 h post-treatment, and at the 3-week follow up. Urinary metabolic phenotypes were measured using 1H NMR spectroscopy, and metabolic variation associated with S. mansoni infection and praziquantel administration was identified using multivariate statistical techniques. Discriminatory metabolic signatures were detected between heavily infected and noninfected children at baseline as well as according to the dose of praziquantel administered 24 h post treatment. These signatures were primarily associated with the metabolic activity of the gut microbiota, gut health and growth biomarkers and energy and liver metabolism. These analyses provide insights into the metabolic phenotype of schistosomiasis and treatment with praziquantel in two important demographics.
Keywords: Schistosoma mansoni; children; metabolic profiling; metabolism; praziquantel; preschool aged; school aged.