Schistosomiasis: Current Epidemiology and Management in Travelers
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- Meltzer, E. & Schwartz, E. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2013) 15: 211. doi:10.1007/s11908-013-0329-1
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Schistosomiasis is increasingly encountered among travelers returning from the tropics, mainly from Africa. Schistosoma-infected travelers have served as sentinels for the existence of unknown foci of transmission even outside Africa. Acute schistosomiasis (also termed Katayama syndrome) is the common manifestation among travelers and may follow exposure to any of the Schistosoma species. Neuroschistosomiasis is a rare complication but may result in severe disability. Diagnosis in travelers is hampered by the poor sensitivity of microscopy in urine and stool, especially during acute infections, while seroconversion may be delayed for a period of weeks. During acute schistosomiasis, symptomatic treatment is the only available therapy, while for chronic schistosomiasis, praziquantel is the only drug available, despite reports of emerging resistance to it. Since the potential for exposure to Schistosoma through travel will probably continue to increase, it is clear that new, sensitive diagnostic methods and drugs affecting the parasite in all its stages are needed.