Digestion. 1998 Aug;59(5):589-605. doi: 10.1159/000007534.


Schistosomiasis is a man-made disease related to water contact in the agricultural fields and affecting millions of people in developing countries in the tropical and subtropical parts of Africa, Asia and South America. It is a bisexual trematode living in the portal blood and perivesical venous plexus. Its life cycle necessitates the presence of an intermediate host - a fresh water mollusc - that differs according to place. The pathogenetic stage is the ova that initiate an immunologically delayed hypersensitivity cell-mediated reaction in the organs where they are deposited. The liver, colon, urinary bladder and ureter are the main organs affected; however, any organ can be affected, even the skin and the brain. The review discusses the pathogenesis, pathology, diagnosis: parasitological and immunological, the clinical picture, treatment and control. The present status of the research work on vaccination is also presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / analysis
  • Humans
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • Schistosoma / immunology
  • Schistosoma / isolation & purification
  • Schistosoma / pathogenicity
  • Schistosomiasis* / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis* / etiology
  • Schistosomiasis* / therapy
  • Schistosomicides / therapeutic use
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • Schistosomicides