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Elimination of Schistosomiasis Mekongi from Endemic Areas in Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Current Status and Plans

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National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh 12100, Cambodia
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Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute, Vientiane 01030, Laos
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School of Medicine, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Shimotsuga, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
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Centre for Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Vientiane 01000, Laos
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World Health Organization, Vientiane Office, Vientiane 01160, Laos
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World Health Organization, Western Pacific Regional Office, Manila 1000, Philippines
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Department of Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Vientiane 01130, Laos
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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box 4002 Basel, Switzerland
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University of Basel, P.O. Box 4001 Basel, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010030
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
The areas endemic for schistosomiasis in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and in Cambodia were first reported 50 and 60 years ago, respectively. However, the causative parasite Schistosoma mekongi was not recognized as a separate species until 1978. The infection is distributed along a limited part of the Mekong River, regulated by the focal distribution of the intermediate snail host Neotricula aperta. Although more sensitive diagnostics imply a higher figure, the current use of stool examinations suggests that only about 1500 people are presently infected. This well-characterized setting should offer an exemplary potential for the elimination of the disease from its endemic areas; yet, the local topography, reservoir animals, and a dearth of safe water sources make transmission control a challenge. Control activities based on mass drug administration resulted in strong advances, and prevalence was reduced to less than 5% according to stool microscopy. Even so, transmission continues unabated, and the true number of infected people could be as much as 10 times higher than reported. On-going control activities are discussed together with plans for the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: Schistosoma mekongi; Neotricula aperta; snail; Cambodia; Lao PDR; elimination Schistosoma mekongi; Neotricula aperta; snail; Cambodia; Lao PDR; elimination
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Khieu, V.; Sayasone, S.; Muth, S.; Kirinoki, M.; Laymanivong, S.; Ohmae, H.; Huy, R.; Chanthapaseuth, T.; Yajima, A.; Phetsouvanh, R.; Bergquist, R.; Odermatt, P. Elimination of Schistosomiasis Mekongi from Endemic Areas in Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Current Status and Plans. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4, 30.

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