Waterborne Infectious Diseases, Approaches to Control

  • Alan FenwickEmail author
  • Albis Francesco Gabrielli
  • Michael French
  • Lorenzo Savioli


Waterborne diseases represent a significant and substantial burden on human health that disproportionately affects those living in the developing world. Human populations are attracted to live near surface water, particularly in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where it may represent a scarce resource. The development of water resources to exploit their potential has undoubtedly been of great benefit to some human populations via, for example, an increase in the amount of land suitable for agriculture provided by irrigation schemes, or the provision of hydroelectric power following the construction of dams and reservoirs.


Indoor Residual Spraying Cerebral Malaria Lymphatic Filariasis Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Waterborne Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Neglected tropical diseases

A group of poverty-promoting and disfiguring diseases disproportionately affecting the poorest populations in developing countries. They are termed neglected because they lack the visibility, research support, and funding of other, more high profile, infections, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Several can be treated with inexpensive, effective treatment, while for others new drugs are needed.

Waterborne infectious diseases

Those diseases that rely on, or are heavily associated with, water for at least one stage of their life cycle or transmission, or affect populations closely related to areas of water.


  1. 1.
    Fenwick A (2006) Waterborne infectious diseases – could they be consigned to history? Science 313:1077–1081CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Steinmann P et al (2006) Schistosomiasis and water resources development: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimates of people at risk. Lancet Infect Dis 6:411–425CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Keiser J, Singer BH, Utzinger J (2005) Reducing the burden of malaria in different eco-epidemiological settings with environmental management: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis 5:695–708CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fenwick A et al (2009) The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI): rationale, development and implementation from 2002–2008. Parasitology 136:1719–1730CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hotez PJ et al (2009) Rescuing the bottom billion through control of neglected tropical diseases. Lancet 373:1570–1575CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hotez PJ et al (2006) Incorporating a rapid-impact package for neglected tropical diseases with programs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. PLoS Med 3:e102CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lammie PJ, Fenwick A, Utzinger J (2006) A blueprint for success: integration of neglected tropical disease control programmes. Trends Parasitol 22:313–321CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zhang Y et al (2010) Control of neglected tropical diseases needs a long-term commitment. BMC Med 8:67–75CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kolaczinski JH et al (2007) Neglected tropical diseases in Uganda: the prospect and challenge of integrated control. Trends Parasitol 23:485–493CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Linehan M et al (2011) Integrated implementation of programs targeting neglected tropical diseases through preventive chemotherapy: proving the feasibility at national scale. Am J Trop Med Hyg 84:5–14CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Molyneux D, Hopkins DR, Zagaria N (2004) Disease eradication, elimination and control: the need for accurate and consistent usage. Trends Parasitol 20:347–351CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    WHO (2004) World health report 2004: changing history. World Health Organization, Geneva. Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Snow RW et al (2005) The global distribution of clinical episodesk of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Nature 10:214–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    King C (2010) Parasites and poverty: the case of schistosomiasis. Acta Trop 113:95–104CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    de Silva NR et al (2003) Soil-transmitted helminth infections: updating the global picture. Trends Parasitol 19:14–551Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dadzie Y, Neira M, Hopkins D (2003) Final report of the conference on the eradicability of onchocerciasis. Filaria J 2:2CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zagaria N, Savioli L (2002) Elimination of lymphatic filariasis: a public health challenge. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 96:S3–S13CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Centre C (2011) Dracunculiasis eradication: the final inch.
  19. 19.
    Kumaresan JA, Mecaskey JW (2003) The global elimination of blinding trachoma: progress and promise. Am J Trop Med Hyg 69:S24–S28Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    WHO (2006) Cholera, 2005. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 81:297–308Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    WHO (2003) Cholera unveiled. Global Task Force on Cholera Control, Editor, Geneva. Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Crump JA, Luby SP, Mintz ED (2004) The global burden of typhoid fever. Bull World Health Organ 82:346–353PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Suaya JA, Shepard DS, Beatty ME (2006) Dengue: burden of disease and cost of illness. Working paper for the scientific working group on dengue research, convened by the special programme for research and training in tropical diseases, Geneva, 1–5 October 2006Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Roberts L, Enserink M (2007) Did they really say…eradication? Science 318:1544–1555CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    WHO (2008) Global malaria control and elimination: report of a technical review. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Knopp S et al (in press) From morbidity control to transmission control: time to change tactics against helminths on Unguja Island, Zanzibar. Acta Trop. doi:  10.1016/j.actatropica.2011.04.010
  27. 27.
    Richter J (2003) The impact of chemotherapy on morbidity due to schistosomiasis. Acta Trop 86:161–183CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    WHO (2002) Prevention and control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. In: World health organization technical report. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp I–v1Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Thylefors B (2008) The Mectizan donation program (MDP). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 102(S1):S39–S44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Basáñez MG et al (2006) River blindness: a success story under threat? PLoS Med 3:e371CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    GAELF (2010) Half-time in LF elimination: teaming up with NTDs. In: Sixth meeting of the global alliance to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, Seoul, 1–3 June 2010Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mariotti SP, Pascolini D, Rose-Nussbaumer J (2009) Trachoma: global magnitude of a preventable cause of blindness. Br J Ophthalmol 93:563–568CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    West S (2003) Blinding trachoma: prevention with the SAFE strategy. Am J Trop Med Hyg 69:S18–S23Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Crump JA, Mintz ED (2010) Global trends in typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Clin Infect Dis 50:241–246CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Breman JG (2001) The ears of the hippopotamus: manifestations, determinants, and estimates of the malaria burden. Am J Trop Med Hyg 64S:1–11Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Snow RW et al (1999) Estimating mortality, morbidity, and disability due to malaria among Africa's non-pregnant population. Bull World Health Organ 77:627–640Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Brooker S et al (2008) Malaria in African schoolchildren: options for control. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 102:304–305CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Greenwood B (2009) Can malaria be eliminated? Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 103(S1):S2–S5CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kapp C (2000) WHO wins reprieve for DDT against malaria. Lancet 356:2076CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hay SI et al (2009) A world malaria map: Plasmodium falciparum endemicity in 2007. PLoS Med 6(3):e1000048CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Chawira AN et al (1987) The effect of combinations of qinghaosu (artemisinin) with standard antimalarial drugs in the suppressive treatment of malaria in mice. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 8:554–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lim P et al (2009) Pfmdr1 copy number and artemisinin derivatives combination therapy failure in falciparum malaria in Cambodia. Malar J 8:11CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    WHO (2006) Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Tshefu AK et al (2010) Efficacy and safety of a fixed-dose oral combination of pyronaridine-artesunate compared with artemether-lumefantrine in children and adults with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a randomised non-inferiority trial. Lancet 375:1457–1467CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Maxwell CA et al (2002) Effect of community-wide use of insecticide-treated nets for 3–4 years on malarial morbidity in Tanzania. Trop Med Int Health 7:1003–1008CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    WHO (2011) Malaria: Indoor residual spraying.
  47. 47.
    Pluess B et al (2010) Indoor residual spraying for preventing malaria (review). The Cochrane Libr 4:CD006657Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Gryseels B et al (2006) Human schistosomiasis. Lancet 368:1106–1118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Poggensee G, Feldmeier H (2001) Female genital schistosomiasis: facts and hypotheses. Acta Trop 79:193–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Fulford AJ et al (1995) A statistical approach to schistosome population dynamics and estimation of the life-span of Schistosoma mansoni in man. Parasitology 110:307–316CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Crompton DW, Savioli L (2007) Handbook of helminthiasis for public health. Taylor and Francis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Cook G, Zumla A (eds) (2008) Manson's tropical diseases, 22nd edn. W.B. Saunders, LondonGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Mahmoud AAF (2001) Schistosomiasis. Imperial College Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Fenwick A (2006) New initiatives against Africa’s worms. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 100:200–207CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Warren KS et al (1974) Schistosomiasis mansoni in Yemeni in California: duration of infection, presence of disease, therapeutic management. Am J Trop Med Hyg 23:902–909PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Harris ARC, Russell RJ, Charters AD (1984) A review of schistosomiasis in immigrants in western Australia, demonstrating the unusual longevity of Schistosoma mansoni. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 78:385–388CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    de Clerq D et al (1998) The relationship between Schistosoma haematobium infection and school performance and attendance in Bamako, Mali. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 92:851–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Vennerveld BJ, Dunne DW (2004) Morbidity in schsistosomiasis: an update. Curr Opin Infect Dis 17:439–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Miguel E, Kremer M (2004) Worms: identifying impacts on education and health in the presence of treatment externalities. Econometrica 72:159–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    French MD et al (2010) Observed reductions in Schistosoma mansoni transmission from large scale administration of praziquantel in Uganda: a mathematical modelling study. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4:e897CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    WHO (2006) Preventive chemotherapy in human helminthiasis. Coordinated use of anthelminthic drugs to control interventions: a manual for health professionals and programme managers. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    WHO (2009) WHO model formulary. Based on the 15th model list of essential medicines 2007. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Hotez P et al (2010) Africa is desperate for praziquantel. Lancet 376:496–498CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Bethony J et al (2006) Soil-transmitted helminth infections: ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm. Lancet 367:1521–1532CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Nokes C et al (1991) Geohelminth infections and academic assessment in Jamaican children. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 85:272–273CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Nokes C et al (1992) Parasitic helminth infection and cognitive function in school children. Proc R Soc Lond B 247:77–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Simeon D et al (1994) School performance, nutritional status and trichuriasis in Jamaican schoolchildren. Acta Paediatr 83:1188–1193CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Hutchinson SE et al (1997) Nutrition, anaemia, geohelminth infection and school achievement in rural Jamaican primary school children. Eur J Clin Nutr 51:729–735CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Albonico M et al (2006) Intervention for the control of soil-transmitted helminthiasis in the community. Adv Parasitol 61:311–348CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Brooker S, Hotez PJ, Bundy DAP (2008) Hookworm-related anaemia among pregnant women: a systematic review. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2:9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Smith JL, Brooker S (2010) Impact of hookworm infection and deworming on anaemia in non-pregnant populations: a systematic review. Trop Med Int Health 15:776–7959CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Yokogawa M (1985) JOICFP’s experience in the control of ascariasis within an integrated programme. In: Crompton DW, Nesheim MC, Pawlowski ZS (eds) Ascaris and its public health significance. Taylor and Francis, London, pp 265–278.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Albonico M et al (2008) Controlling soil-transmitted helminthiasis in pre-school-age children through preventive chemotherapy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2:e126CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Ottesen EA (2006) Lymphatic filariasis: treatment, control and elimination. Adv Parasitol 61:395–441CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Kirkwood B et al (1983) Relationships between mortality, visual acuity and microfilarial load in the area of the onchocerciasis control programme. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 77:862–868CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Prost A (1986) The burden of blindness in adult males in the Savanna villages of West Africa exposed to onchocerciasis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 80:525–527CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Murdoch ME et al (2002) Onchocerciasis: the clinical and epidemiological burden of skin disease in Africa. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 96:283–296CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Little MP et al (2004) Incidence of blindness during the onchocerciasis control programme in western Africa, 1971–2002. J Infect Dis 189:1932–1941CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Boatin BA, Richards FO (2006) Control of onchocerciasis. Adv Parasitol 61:349–394CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Hougard J-M et al (1997) Twenty-two years of blackfly control in the onchocerciasis control programme in West Africa. Parasitol Today 13:425–431CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Boatin B (2008) The onchocerciasis control programme in West Africa (OCP). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 102(S1):S13–S17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Dadzie KY et al (1991) Onchocerciasis control by large-scale ivermectin treatment. Lancet 337:1358–1359CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Tielsch JM, Beeche A (2004) Impact of ivermectin on illness and disability associated with onchocerciasis. Trop Med Int Health 9:A45–A56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Amazigo U (2008) The African programme for onchocerciasis control (APOC). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 102(S1):19–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Gardon J et al (1997) Serious reactions after mass treatment of onchocerciasis with ivermectin in an area endemic for Loa loa infection. Lancet 350:18–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Padgett JJ, Jacobsen KH (2008) Loiasis: African eye worm. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 102:983–989CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Sauerbrey M (2008) The onchocerciasis elimination program for the Americas. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 102(S1):S25–S29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA) (2011) Distribución geográfica de la oncocercosis y situación de la transmisión en las Américas.
  89. 89.
    Cupp EW, Sauerbrey M, Richards FO Elimination of human onchocerciasis: history of progress and current feasibility using ivermectin (Mectizan®) monotherapy. Acta Trop 120 S1:S100–S108Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    GAELF (2011) Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report on mass drug administration, 2010. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 86:377–388Google Scholar
  91. 91.
    Nienga SM et al (2007) Chronic clinical manifestations related to Wuchereria bancrofti infection in a highly endemic area in Kenya. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 101:439–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Gyapong JO et al (2005) Treatment strategies underpinning the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Expert Opin Pharmacother 6:179–200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  93. 93.
    Gambhir M et al (2010) Geographic and ecologic heterogeneity in elimination thresholds for the major vector-borne helminthic disease, lymphatic filariasis. BMC Biol 8:22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  94. 94.
    Michael E et al (2006) Mathematical models and lymphatic filariasis control: endpoints and optimal interventions. Trends Parasitol 22:226–233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  95. 95.
    Ottesen EA et al (2008) The global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: health impact after 8 years. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2:e317CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  96. 96.
    Hooper PJ et al (2009) The global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: health impact during its first 8 years (2000–2007). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 103(S1):S17–S21CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  97. 97.
    Chu BK et al (2010) The economic benefits resulting from the first 8 years of the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4:e708CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  98. 98.
    Hopkins AD, Molyneux DH (2009) A decade of ivermectin-albendazole donation for lymphatic filariasis. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 103(S1):S3CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  99. 99.
    Molyneux DH (2009) Filaria control and elimination: diagnostic, monitoring and surveillance needs. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 103:338–341CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  100. 100.
    Mohammed KA et al (2006) Progress towards elimination lymphatic filariasis in Zanzibar: a model programme. Trends Parasitol 22:340–344CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  101. 101.
    Rawlins SC et al (2004) Evidence for the interruption of transmission of lymphatic filariasis among schoolchildren in Trinidad and Tobago. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 98:473–477CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  102. 102.
    Brantus P (2009) Ten years of managing the clinical manifestations and disabilities of lymphatic filariasis. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 103(S1):S5–S10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  103. 103.
    Knirsch C (2007) Trachoma: ancient scourge, disease elimination, and future research. Curr Infect Dis Rep 9:21–28CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  104. 104.
    Barry M (2007) The tail end of guinea worm – global eradication without a drug or a vaccine. N Engl J Med 356:2561–2564CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  105. 105.
    Sack DA et al (2004) Cholera. Lancet 363:223–233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  106. 106.
    Glass RI et al (1982) Endemic cholera in rural Bangladesh. Am J Epidemiol 116:959–970PubMedGoogle Scholar
  107. 107.
    Bhutta Z (2006) Endemic cholera in rural Bangladesh, 1966–1980. Br Med J 333:78–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. 108.
    Sinha A et al (1999) Typhoid fever in children aged less than 5 years. Lancet 354:734–737CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  109. 109.
    WHO (1997) Dengue haemorrhagic fever: diagnosis, treatment prevention and control. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  110. 110.
    San Martin JL et al (2010) The epidemiology of dengue in the Americas over the last three decades: a worrisome reality. Am J Trop Med Hyg 82:128–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  111. 111.
    Henderson DA (1976) The eradication of smallpox. Sci Am 235:25–33CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Fenwick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Albis Francesco Gabrielli
    • 2
  • Michael French
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Savioli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Schistosomiasis Control InitiativeImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Control of Neglected Tropical DiseasesWorld Health OrganizationGenevaSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations