Global prevalence status of avian schistosomes: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Parasite Epidemiol Control. 2020 Feb 18:9:e00142. doi: 10.1016/j.parepi.2020.e00142. eCollection 2020 May.


Objectives: Human cercarial dermatitis (HCD) is a water-borne zoonotic parasitic disease. Cercariae of the avian schistosomes of several genera are frequently recognized as the causative agent of HCD. Various studies have been performed regarding prevalence of bird schistosomes in different regions of the world. So far, no study has gathered and analyzed this data systematically. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis study was to determine the prevalence of avian schistosomes worldwide.

Methods: Data were extracted from six available databases for studies published from 1937 to 2017. Generally, 41 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were used for data extraction in this systematic review. Most of studies have been conducted on the family Anatidae.

Results: The overall prevalence of avian schistosomes was estimated to be 34.0% (95%CI, 28%-41%) around the world. Furthermore, results displayed that, Allobilharzia visceralis and Trichobilharzia spp. had the highest frequency and their prevalence in the birds was 50.0% (95% CI, 3.0%-97.0%) and 32.0% (95% CI, 21.0%-0.36%), respectively. The results showed that the prevalence of avian schistosomes was 43.0% (95% CI, 29% - 56%) in the US and 38.0% (27.0% -50.0%) in Europe, which were higher than other continents, respectively.

Conclusions: The prevalence of 34% shows that the bird schistosomes are very common zoonotic worms among aquatic birds in the world. Also, this study shows the importance of avian schistosome research when facing animal and human health of the future.

Keywords: Allobilharzia; Avian schistosomes; Human cercarial dermatitis; Prevalence; Trichobilharzia.

Publication types

  • Review