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Parasit Vectors. 2011 Oct 7;4:194. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-4-194.

A diagnostic challenge for Schistosomiasis japonica in China: consequences on praziquantel-based morbidity control.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


Worldwide schistosomiasis continues to be a serious public health problem. Over the past five decades, China has made remarkable progress in reducing Schistosoma japonicum infections in humans to a relatively low level. Endemic regions are currently circumscribed in certain core areas where re-infection and repeated chemotherapy are frequent. At present, selective chemotherapy with praziquantel is one of the main strategies in China's National Schistosomiasis Control Program, and thus diagnosis of infected individuals is a key step for such control. In this paper we review the current status of our knowledge about diagnostic tools for schistosomiasis japonica. A simple, affordable, sensitive, and specific assay for field diagnosis of schistosomiasis japonica is not yet available, and this poses great barriers towards full control of schistosomiasis. Hence, a search for a diagnostic approach, which delivers these characteristics, is essential and should be given high priority.

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