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Parasitology Research

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 17–27 | Cite as

Research and control of advanced schistosomiasis japonica in China

  • Wei Wu
  • Aicheng Feng
  • Yixin HuangEmail author
Review

Abstract

Among the three main schistosomes (Schistosoma japonicum, Schistosoma mansoni, and Schistosoma haematobium) known to infect humans, S. japonicum causes the most serious pathological lesions. In China, only schistosomiasis japonica is transmitted. From the 1950s, massive epidemiological investigations and active control measures for schistosomiasis japonica have been carried out. At the early stage of schistosomiasis control program, there were about 12 million schistosomiasis patients, and about 5 % of schistosomiasis patients belong to advanced patients, which was 600,000. After more than a half century of active schistosomiasis control work, the schistosomiasis situation has been reduced markedly. The nearest epidemiological investigation showed that, by the end of 2012, there were still 240,000 schistosomiasis patients with the descent rate of 98 % and 30,000 advanced patients with the descent rate of 95 %. This paper reviews the rich experiences of advanced schistosomiasis research and control in China, including that the epidemiology researches confirm there is a family aggregation of advanced schistosomiasis and advanced schistosomiasis patients have no significance to the schistosomiasis transmission in transmission-interrupted areas but still are an infection source in endemic areas; pathogenic mechanism researches verify that genetic factors and immunoregulation play important roles in the disease developing process; ultrasound image examinations are used not only in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of advanced schistosomiasis but also in the guidance of treatment and evaluation of therapeutic effects and, furthermore, in the risk predictions of portal hypertension and upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage; clinical practices demonstrate that praziquantel can be used in most of advanced schistosomiasis patients, and the therapy not only can interrupt the schistosomiasis transmission somewhat but also is favorable for liver fibrosis improvement; the ascetic fluid concentration afflux is used in the therapy for obstinate ascites, and endoscopic varices ligation is used in the treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and both have good effects; hundreds and thousands of severe splenomegaly advanced schistosomiasis patients received splenectomy, and the long-term survival rate is more than 90 %, most of them are basically cured from the disease and their labor force recovers, some dwarf patients begin growing and developing again, and some sterile women became fertile; the researches of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of liver fibrosis have made progress, such as Cordyceps sinensis showing some anti-fibrosis effect in the animal experiments and primary clinical trials; the animal experiments and epidemiological investigations indicate that schistosome infection is one of the carcinogenesis risk factors, especially for liver cancer. In conclusion, these experiences and lessons are plentiful and worth sharing with the peers of other endemic countries for reference.

Keywords

Schistosomiasis Praziquantel Liver fibrosis 

Notes

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic DiseasesWuxi CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory on Technology for Parasitic Disease Prevention and ControlNational Health and Family Planning CommissionWuxi CityPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of ParasitesWuxi CityPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Huadong Sanatorium of ShanghaiWuxi CityPeople’s Republic of China

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