Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Schistosomiasis, Man

  • Walther H. Wernsdorfer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2830


Bilharziasis; Bilharziosis

General Information

This complex of diseases is caused by Schistosoma haematobium, S. intercalatum, S. japonicum, S. mansoni, and S. mekongi. Schistosomiasis is acquired from free-swimming freshwater  cercariae that penetrate the skin or are swallowed with fecally contaminated water from snail-infested sources ( Schistosoma). As they penetrate the skin, cercariae lose their tails and become schistosomules. Growing couples of monogamous male and female migrate to intestinal (S. mansoni and S. japonicum) or urogenital (S. haematobium) venules where females lay hundreds to thousands of eggs per day. The great variety of lesions are superbly described and illustrated by McCulley et al. and Lichtenberg. The granulomatous response is subject to multiple immunologic mechanisms.


There are an estimated 200 million people, in 74 countries, infected with schistosomes. Intestinal schistosomiasis caused by S. mansonioccurs widely in tropical...
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Further Readings

  1. Cao ZG et al (2016) Towards the elimination of schistosomiasis japonica through control of the disease in domestic animals in the People’s Republic of China: a tale of over 60 years. Adv Parasitol 92:269–306PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Christinet V et al (2016) Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS): from case reports to a call for concerted action against this neglected gynaecological disease. Int J Parasitol 46:395–404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coltart CE et al (2015) Schistosomiasis presenting in travellers: a 15 year observational study at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 109:214–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Grimes JE et al (2015) The roles of water, sanitation and hygiene in reducing schistosomiasis: a review. Parasit Vectors 8:156PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lai YS et al (2015) Spatial distribution of schistosomiasis and treatment needs in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and geostatistical analysis. Lancet Infect Dis 15:927–940PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mutapi F (2015) Changing policy and practice in the control of pediatric schistosomiasis. Pediatrics 135:536–544PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Othman AA, Soliman RH (2015) Schistosomiasis in Egypt: a never-ending story? Acta Trop 148:179–190PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Price A et al (2015) Are health education interventions effective for the control and prevention of urogenital schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic review. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 109:239–244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Richter J et al (2016) Ultrasonography of gallbladder abnormalities due to schistosomiasis. Parasitol Res. doi:10.1007/s00436-016-5116-0Google Scholar
  10. Richter J et al (2015) Severe liver fibrosis caused by Schistosoma mansoni: management and treatment with a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. Lancet Infect Dis 15:731–737PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Weerakoon KG et al (2015) Advances in the diagnosis of human schistosomiasis. Clin Microbiol Rev 28:939–967PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walther H. Wernsdorfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical MedicineMedical University ViennaViennaAustria