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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2002 Sep-Oct;96(5):465-9.

Resistance of Schistosoma mansoni to praziquantel: is there a problem?

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, Wales, UK.


Evidence for resistance to praziquantel (PZQ) in Schistosoma mansoni has been sought in parasites taken from treated, but uncured human patients, and in a laboratory isolate of S. mansoni subjected to successive passages under drug pressure. Patients from villages in Egypt and Senegal have yielded isolates that can tolerate higher dosages of PZQ than other ostensible control isolates when passaged and subjected to drug treatment in mice. In vitro tests on these and the laboratory-selected isolate support the conclusion that a degree of resistance to PZQ can occur in S. mansoni, but the levels of drug resistance found so far are low. Preliminary studies have begun on these isolates to identify genetic, physiological and morphological characteristics associated with PZQ resistance and some of these may find use as markers for monitoring whether or not resistance is developing in endemic areas where the drug is used. More intensive application of PZQ can be expected in future, particularly in other parts of Africa, and vigilance will be needed to ensure that it continues to be useful as a drug for treatment of schistosomiasis. Further work is needed to elucidate the mode of action of PZQ and there is already a need for alternative drugs to treat PZQ-resistant schistosomiasis, such as already exists in northern Senegal.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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