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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1993 Dec;49(6):697-700.

Is Schistosoma mansoni replacing Schistosoma haematobium in the Fayoum?

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  • 1Department of Tropical Medicine, Kasr El Aini Hospital, University of Cairo Faculty of Medicine, Egypt.


Schistosoma mansoni is progressively replacing S. haematobium along the Nile River in Egypt. This change has occurred in the past 15-20 years following construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. The cause is a shift in relative abundance of the snail vectors Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus. Biomphalaria is increasing while the latter has disappeared from a village in the Fayoum where formerly only schistosomiasis haematobia was endemic. A cross-sectional household survey in this village in 1991 showed the following prevalence values: S. mansoni, 22.3%; S. haematobium, 3.4%; and mixed infections, 2.8%. Only two children less than 10 years of age had S. haematobium infections. A review of the local Ministry of Health records showed that 1) both species were parasitologically diagnosed during the past 7.5 years, 2) Biomphalaria had been abundantly present in the local waterways for the past 10 years and has been found infected with S. mansoni since 1985, 3) Bulinus has not been detected in the local canals and drains since 1986 and the few found between 1981 and 1985 were not infected, and 4) Biomphalaria in this village and in two others in the Fayoum were believed infected by laborers from the Delta who helped build schools in 1984. This change in the distribution of schistosomiasis will impact upon public health and medical practice in Middle and Upper Egypt as it already has in Lower Egypt.

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