Tools for Detection of Schistosomiasis in Resource Limited Settings

Med Sci (Basel). 2018 May 23;6(2):39. doi: 10.3390/medsci6020039.


Schistosomiasis is a debilitating disease affecting over 200 million people, with the highest burden of morbidity and mortality in African countries. Despite its huge impact on the health and socio-economic burden of the society, it remains a neglected tropical disease, with limited attention from governments and stakeholders in healthcare. One of the critical areas that is hugely under-developed is the development of accurate diagnostics for both intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis. Diagnosis of schistosomiasis is important for the detection and treatment of disease in endemic and non-endemic settings. A conclusive detection method is also an indispensable part of treatment, both in the clinic and during mass drug administration (MDA), for the monitoring efficacy of treatment. Here, we review the available diagnostic methods and discuss the challenges encountered in diagnosis in resource limited settings. We also present the available diagnostics and cost implications for deployment in resource limited settings. Lastly, we emphasize the need for more funding directed towards the development of affordable diagnostic tools that is affordable for endemic countries as we work towards the elimination of the disease.

Keywords: Africa; diagnosis; neglected; schistosomiasis.

Publication types

  • Review