Navigation Links
Controlling schistosomiasis: buffalo or snails?

A parasitic infection common in China and Southeast Asia could be effectively reduced by controlling snail populations, according to research published in PLoS Medicine.

Infection with schistosomes of various species affects some 200 million people worldwide, and can cause serious chronic illnesses, including liver failure. Steven Riley of the University of Hong Kong and collaborators analyzed infection patterns of the parasitic worm Schistosoma japonicum in fifty villages in Samar Province, the Philippines. Rates of infection among humans and animals have been found to differ among villages, and the researchers developed a mathematical model incorporating fecal parasite test results from thousands of people and animals (including, cats, pigs, dogs, water buffalo, and rats) to explain these differences.

Schistosomes are passed from mammals to fresh-water snails via feces, and then cycle back to infect mammals that contact water inhabited by infected snails. Using the mathematical model, the team found that transmission from snails to mammals was a more important factor in explaining the differences among villages than transmission from mammals to snails.

As with all scientific models, the findings of this one depend on the assumptions made to build the model. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that interventions to reduce the size of the snail population and the exposure of mammals to parasite-containing water might reduce human infection levels more effectively than interventions that interrupt other parts of the parasites life cycle.

The results also indicate that the contribution of water buffaloes to human S. japonicum infection in the Philippines is not particularly important. This finding contrasts with a recent study that identified water buffalo as the major mammalian reservoir for S. japonicum in China. (, and suggests that further studies of t he transmission of S. japonicum by water buffalo are warranted before efforts are dedicated to treat or vaccinate water buffalo as a control measure against human S. japonicum infection.

In a related perspective article, Song Liang and Robert Spear, who were not involved in the study, discuss the findings and conclude that the modeling approach can be a useful tool in exploring schistosomiasis transmission in other settings, and may even apply to other macroparasites.


Contact: Josh Eveleth
Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. Controlling for size may also prevent cancer
2. UT Southwestern researchers identify hundreds of genes controlling female fertility
3. Hot spots the key to controlling European carp in Australia
4. Bioclocks work by controlling chromosome coiling
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced an ... its DNA library preparation products, including the ThruPLEX ... Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized for ... libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free circulating ... in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific is ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Germany , October 27, 2015 ... SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps ... SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they ... BeGaze. --> Munich, Germany , ... (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... companion diagnostics is one of the major ... pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers working together ... . --> ... global cancer biomarkers market spread across 89 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... cat and human plaque and pave the way for more ... problems in cats     --> ... most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little ... now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
Breaking Biology Technology: