Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Schistosomiasis, Man

  • Walther H. Wernsdorfer
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_2830-2


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 Africa,...


Hepatic Fibrosis Adult Worm Drain Lymph Node Challenge Infection Inflammatory Focus 
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Further Reading

  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 92:269–306CrossRefPubMedGoogle 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 46:395–404CrossRefPubMedGoogle 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 109:214–220CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Grimes JE et al (2015) The roles of water, sanitation and hygiene in reducing schistosomiasis: a review. Parasit Vectors 8:156CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle 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 15:927–940CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Mutapi F (2015) Changing policy and practice in the control of pediatric schistosomiasis. Pediatrics 135:536–544CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Othman AA, Soliman RH (2015) Schistosomiasis in Egypt: a never-ending story? Acta Trop 148:179–190CrossRefPubMedGoogle 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 109:239–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle 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 15:731–737CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Weerakoon KG et al (2015) Advances in the diagnosis of human schistosomiasis. Clin Microbiol Rev 28:939–967CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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