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Long-term effectiveness of the integrated schistosomiasis control strategy with emphasis on infectious source control in China: a 10-year evaluation from 2005 to 2014

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Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical parasitic disease of great public health significance worldwide. Currently, mass drug administration with praziquantel remains the major strategy for global schistosomiasis control programs. Since 2005, an integrated strategy with emphasis on infectious source control was implemented for the control of schistosomiasis japonica, a major public health concern in China, and pilot studies have demonstrated that such a strategy is effective to reduce the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum infection in both humans and bovines. However, there is little knowledge on the long-term effectiveness of this integrated strategy for controlling schistosomiasis japonica. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the integrated strategy for schistosomiasis control following the 10-year implementation, based on the data from the national schistosomiasis control program released by the Ministry of Health, People’s Republic of China. In 2014, there were 5 counties in which the transmission of schistosomiasis japonica had not been interrupted, which reduced by 95.2% as compared to that in 2005 (105 counties). The number of schistosomiasis patients and acute cases reduced by 85.5 and 99.7% in 2014 (115,614 cases and 2 cases) as compared to that in 2005 (798,762 cases and 564 cases), and the number of bovines and S. japonicum-infected bovines reduced by 47.9 and 98% in 2014 (919,579 bovines and 666 infected bovines) as compared to that in 2005 (1,764,472 bovines and 33,736 infected bovines), respectively. During the 10-year implementation of the integrated strategy, however, there was a minor fluctuation in the area of Oncomelania hupensis snail habitats, and there was only a 5.6% reduction in the area of snail habitats in 2014 relative to in 2005. The results of the current study demonstrate that the 10-year implementation of the integrated strategy with emphasis on infectious source has greatly reduced schistosomiasis-related morbidity in humans and bovines. It is concluded that the new integrated strategy has remarkable long-term effectiveness on the transmission of schistosomiasis japonica in China, which facilitates the shift of the national schistosomiasis control program from transmission control to transmission interruption and elimination. However, such a strategy seems to have little effect on the shrinking of areas of snail habitats.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the grants from Jiangsu Provincial Department of Science and Technology (grant no. BL2014021) and Jiangsu Department of Health (grant nos. Q201404 and X201117).

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Correspondence to Peng Wang.

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Wang, X., Wang, W. & Wang, P. Long-term effectiveness of the integrated schistosomiasis control strategy with emphasis on infectious source control in China: a 10-year evaluation from 2005 to 2014. Parasitol Res 116, 521–528 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-016-5315-8

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