Schistosomiasis Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Methods

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Schistosomiasis Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Methods
Schistosomiasis Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Methods

Video: Schistosomiasis Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Methods

Video: Schistosomiasis Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Methods
Video: Schistosomiasis | Bilharziasis | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment 2023, December

Signs of schistosomiasis and treatment options


  • 1 Briefly about the disease
  • 2 Life cycle of parasites
  • 3 Features of infection and development of pathology
  • 4 The main symptoms of the disease

    • 4.1 Light form
    • 4.2 Development of pathology of moderate severity
    • 4.3 Severe stage of development
  • 5 Intestinal pathology
  • 6 Japanese schistosomiasis
  • 7 Diagnosis of the disease
  • 8 Treatment of pathology

    8.1 Prognosis after treatment

  • 9 Preventive measures
  • 10 Summing up

Schistosomiasis or snail fever is a chronic form of helminthiasis. The problem is caused by parasites of the trematode category. This disease very often affects the intestinal area, as well as the genitourinary system. In social terms, this problem has a serious impact on human health and even on the level of the economy.

Briefly about the disease


Briefly about the disease

When a problem is detected, it must be immediately treated, since parasites in a child's body can cause anemia, stunted growth, and reduce intelligence, which automatically affects the ability to learn. Only adequate treatment can make the effect of helminths reversible.

As for adults, their disease very often takes on a chronic form, since the manifestations of the primary stage of development are simply not noticed. The neglected form negatively affects the general level of the patient's performance and can be fatal.

The period of infection and exacerbation is accompanied by itching, fever, and special papular rashes. Often a person suffers from cystitis, colitis, prostatitis, and also pyelonephritis.

Important! If you have such symptoms, you should immediately contact the clinic for a diagnosis.

In the process of diagnostics, specialists will send you for the delivery of urine and feces, conduct cystoscopy, as well as urography. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor prescribes special anthelmintic drugs. In especially advanced cases, surgical intervention is required.

Based on the above, it becomes clear that the disease is quite dangerous. It is important to detect it as soon as possible and undergo a course of treatment. Below in the article, you can study in more detail such issues on the disease as methods of infection, symptoms, treatment features, as well as methods of prevention.

Life cycle of parasites


Various blood flukes that cause the disease are classified as dioecious worms. Describing the size, it can be noted that organisms reach a length of about 4-20 mm and a width of about 0.25 mm. A distinctive external feature of these parasites is the presence of two suckers - abdominal and oral. They are located nearby, but at different distances, since the body of females is slightly longer.

The male has a longitudinally located groove, which is necessary in order to effectively keep the females with him. The laid eggs of the parasite are oval in shape, and at one of the poles there is a large spine.

In a person, after infection, several categories of helminthic painful manifestations can develop simultaneously. Each of the species causes the following diseases:

  • Genitourinary schistosomiasis;
  • Intestinal schistosomiasis;
  • Japanese schistosomiasis.

The worms that have settled in the body feed on blood, and the other part of their nutrition is based on the adsorption of nutrients through the cuticle. Eggs that are laid by parasites easily penetrate into the bladder, into the intestines, and there they fully ripen. The remaining larvae are excreted from the body simultaneously with urine and feces.

Features of infection and development of pathology

The infection process manifests itself almost immediately. About 15 minutes after the cercariae have penetrated the skin, the person develops severe itching or hives. During the day, a spotty rash appears, which is accompanied by unpleasant painful sensations in bone tissues and muscles. As the infection develops, the patient's symptoms such as chills, headache and malaise intensify.

As noted above, the greatest risk of infection is typical for tropical exotic countries, that is, for people who visit these states. There are several options for helminth infection. Here are some of the most common factors carried out in natural waters:

  1. Water intake;
  2. Watering activities;
  3. Swimming in contaminated water bodies;
  4. Washing clothes in natural water;
  5. Religious rites.

Lytic enzymes penetrate the skin capillaries, are introduced into the venules, thereby quickly reaching the pulmonary capillaries, as well as the right heart sections. Approximately 5 days after migration, the larvae enter the hepatic branches, into the portal vein. After three weeks, they finally settle in the vessels of the urinary system and in the plexus of the veins.

After 3 months, the larvae transform into sexually mature organisms and start the process of laying eggs. A feature of this parasite is the unique ability of its eggs to pass through the walls of blood vessels, to enter nearby tissues of the body, into the lumens of all parts of the intestine, and also into the bladder. Already from these parts of the human body, parasites are excreted into the outside world.

The whole process of parasite migration is accompanied by certain unpleasant symptoms.


The active process of laying eggs in a particular part of the body can cause the development of various negative manifestations:

  • Inflammatory process with the simultaneous appearance of ulcers;
  • Acute fibrosis;
  • Severe wrinkling of the bladder;
  • Calcification of eggs.

Important! If timely measures are not taken, the presence of ulcerative lesions can lead to the development of cancer. With the accumulation of eggs and parasites in the intestines, there is a risk of developing schistosomal appendicitis.

The main symptoms of the disease

According to the degree of development and manifestation, schistosomiasis is divided into several main stages by specialists. The disease is acute, chronic, and a period of outcome is noted. The acute time period directly coincides with the time of movement of the larvae along the bloodstream. At the very beginning of the development of pathology, a person complains of unpleasant allergic manifestations. Here are a couple of the most basic ones:

  1. Hives;
  2. Local edema of the skin surface.

Quite rarely, but still there is a place to be, the development of such unpleasant symptoms as coughing, coughing up blood, and lymphadenopathy. In parallel with this, various symptoms develop, proving the presence of intoxication of the body. These include headache, severe chills, increased sweating, and pain in the muscles and numerous joints.

If untreated, the disease turns into a persistent chronic phase. It can develop in completely different ways - relatively easy, difficult and moderately tolerant.

Light form

With this form, a person does not feel a disturbance in general well-being, his working capacity does not decrease, and various dysuric disorders are insignificant.

The development of pathology of moderate severity


With moderate severity, the patient will experience such phenomena as:

  1. Pronounced dysuria;
  2. Enlargement of the liver in size;
  3. Anemia;
  4. Total hematuria.

Often, when the severity of the manifestation of the disease is reached, the spleen is enlarged in patients.

Severe stage of development

With the development of a severe form of the disease, the patient suffers from frequently recurring exacerbations associated with the genitourinary system. We are talking about such unpleasant problems as pyelonephritis and cystitis. At this stage, a person forms stones in the urinary system, as well as in the ureters. Women often experience vaginal bleeding, and men often suffer from prostatitis.

Among the latest manifestations of pathology and individual diseases, one can note such serious failures in the body as:

  • Infertility for women;
  • Acute renal failure;
  • Life-threatening cirrhosis of the liver;
  • Acute ureteral stricture;
  • Hydronephrosis.

With an acute, very severe development of parasitic invasion, the patient completely loses the ability to work and live a full life. There have even been cases of death.

Intestinal pathology

At the initial stage of the development of the intestinal form, schistosomiasis is characterized by symptoms similar to genitourinary lesions. These include health problems such as:

  1. Myalgia;
  2. Arthralgia;
  3. Malaise;
  4. Fever.

For unfavorable pathological conditions of the human body, such manifestations as pain in the abdomen, decreased appetite, diarrhea with blood particles are characteristic, it is possible that it alternates with constipation. At a later stage, the patient has an enlarged liver, acute portal and pulmonary hypertension, chronic ascites, cor pulmonale, as well as gastric and intestinal bleeding.

Japanese schistosomiasis


With the development of this form of pathology, the patient has special symptoms and signs of the presence of the following diseases:

  1. Colitis;
  2. Allergy;
  3. Hematite;
  4. Cirrhosis.

These symptoms are similar to intestinal damage, but they appear much stronger and brighter, a person feels much worse.

Diagnosis of the disease

Specialists receive the main diagnostic data after conducting analyzes aimed at the clinical manifestations of the disease, to collect general epidemiology. If you suspect this disease, the doctor prescribes not only laboratory tests, but also instrumental ones.

As for specialists, in addition to standard infectious disease specialists, doctors working in urology and gastroenterology take part in the diagnosis process. Doctors are very worried and alarmed if the patient is in a special epidemiological focus, if such unpleasant manifestations as hematuria, colitis, and dysuria with various toxic and allergic symptoms are noted.


Egg detection plays a decisive role in the diagnosis of schistosomiasis. This can be done through the study of urine and feces, and blood must also be donated. By passing urine and settling it, filtering it and passing it through a centrifuge, genitourinary schistosomiasis can be determined. Through the analysis of feces, which is carried out using the Ritchie method, sedimentation and Kato, the intestinal form of the lesion is revealed. Using a fingerstick test, doctors identify problems such as hematuria, proteinuria, and leukocyturia.

The most accurate examination result can be achieved during cystoscopy. This is an ideal opportunity to detect the presence of granulomas, ulcers, egg clusters, and polypoid growths. In especially difficult and advanced cases, if pathologically altered tissues are found, doctors perform a biopsy.

Important! The intestinal form of schistosomiasis must necessarily be differentiated from malignant tumors in the colon. An examination is carried out for the development of typhoid fever and dysentery. This is necessary to prevent the development of an epidemic.

Pathology treatment

Currently, the main drug that is very often used in the treatment of pathology is Praziquantel. At the same time, you need to know that the medicine is effective only when adults are eliminated, that is, it does not affect immature worms and eggs.


The process of treatment with this drug is quite simple. The specialist, based on the results of the analyzes, on the weight of the person and on his age, prescribes the dosage of the drug. On average, the daily dose is divided into two doses per day. For children and adults, a specialist prescribes the drug at the rate of 50 mg per 1 kg of weight. The resulting volume is simply divided into two parts.

The advantage of the drug is the possibility of prescribing it and taking it simultaneously with other means. At the same time, there is no health risk at all. For example, it may be compatibility with drugs aimed at treating intestinal diseases. Treatment with this drug is mostly carried out by such groups of people as:

  1. Schoolchildren living in endemic areas;
  2. Communities inhabiting endemic regions;
  3. The following categories of inhabitants of endemic areas can be distinguished as a separate group - fishermen, farmers, as well as irrigation workers who are forced to constantly contact with contaminated water.

The main advantage of the drug is the fastest possible destruction of parasites. This automatically improves and strengthens the immune system, which in turn begins to more intensely affect the parasites.

A positive response from the immune system can lead to a preferential localized response. This process is characterized by a slight increase in the symptoms of the disease. To slightly reduce this reaction of the human body, doctors prescribe modern corticosteroid drugs.

Before prescribing the main treatment, the doctor will definitely conduct a general examination of the patient's body. If there are malfunctions with certain organs, before the antihelminthic treatment, the doctor will conduct a special narrowly targeted supportive treatment. It is maintained until the parallel diseases disappear, and also until the hyperimmune reaction becomes weaker.

Important! Despite the large number of positive factors inherent in this drug, there is one drawback. It is quite difficult to acquire it. The drug is available in limited quantities.

At the same time, the use of the drug is characterized by some contraindications. It is strictly forbidden to take the drug in the following cases:

  • If a child has malaise, in particular a fever, in a similar situation, schistosomiasis is best treated after improving general health;
  • First trimester of pregnancy;
  • The presence of a chronic disease such as sickle-shaped anemia;
  • Children under the age of one year.

There are also some side effects that a person may experience during treatment with this drug. In isolated cases, patients manifest such forms of malaise as headache, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach pain, and so on. If such problems are found and at the same time in a rather vivid form of manifestation, you should immediately inform the doctor about this. Perhaps he will reduce the dosage or try to find a drug that is similar in effect.

As additional drugs, specialists can prescribe drugs such as Metrifonat, Trioxolan, Oksamnikvin, Artemisin. They are characterized by strictly limited effectiveness, therefore they are used as a supplement. With a mild form of development of pathology, the doctor may prescribe therapy based on the use of folk remedies.

Prognosis after treatment


Prognosis after treatment

Patients who have already undergone a course of therapy aimed at eliminating schistosomiasis may, after a while, become infected with helminths again. The reason is that there is no vaccine aimed at preventing pathology, and the human immune system is not able to prevent secondary and subsequent infection.

Speaking about the predictions after the treatment, it can be noted that a well-built and completely completed treatment regimen gives the following results:

  1. Complete recovery;
  2. Protection against the development of dangerous chronic diseases.

With a properly prescribed and carried out treatment, you can fully recover from a secondary infection. People who suffer from an early form of chronic schistosomiasis may well expect significant improvements in overall well-being. A similar result can be achieved only if the instructions prescribed by the doctor are fully followed.

If the patient, along with being infected with parasites, has other rather serious health problems, for example, if a person has a completely suppressed immune system due to HIV or chronic infections, the prognosis will not be so favorable.

Patients who suffer from various chronic diseases need to first improve their general condition and only then undergo the recommended antiparasitic drug treatment. As a rule, after undergoing a full course of treatment, all symptomatic complications that schistosomiasis can cause completely disappear.

Prevention measures

As a preventive measure, experts advise avoiding any contact of the skin with water, where snails and schistosomiasis are endemic. This rule does not work in modern developing countries. Studies have shown that attempts to eliminate or at least reduce the total number of snails from freshwater ponds have automatically reduced the total number of infected people. To secure the optimal positive result, it is necessary to carry out secondary processing of freshwater sources.

Effective prevention consists of a number of activities related to daily hygiene measures and the rules of standard food intake. Here are the basic conditions for prevention:

  1. You should always wash your hands before eating, especially after walking. It is outside the home that it is much easier and easier to get infected.
  2. Do not forget that the focus of the disease may be under the nose. This can be a pet, after which you also need to wash your hands.
  3. One of the important components of preventive measures is full compliance with the rules of food preparation. Heat treatment is important here, and in some cases, freezing or salt treatment is required.
  4. Food products that do not require additional preparation, which lose their taste after freezing, must be thoroughly washed and stored in sterile packaging.
  5. Children should not walk with dirty uncut nails. It is here that a huge number of microbes and harmful organisms accumulate, which can very easily enter the digestive tract and cause serious harm to health.
  6. It is strictly forbidden to fish in bodies of water that are not under the supervision of government authorities. In such places, you can't just swim, but even give up, for example, wash clothes.
  7. In the process of practicing various types of agriculture, in particular, watering, gloves must be worn. It is equally important to ensure that the water is not contaminated, as it is watered with the fruits eaten.

It is equally important to maintain immunity at a high level, so that even with infection, symptoms and consequences are minimized. You can maintain the body's defenses at the proper level with the help of a course of minerals and vitamins necessary for health. It will be no less useful to introduce tempering procedures into your life, which are selected strictly on an individual basis.

Summing up

For the reason that schistosomiasis is mostly a tropical disease and there are practically no pathogens on the territory of the Russian Federation, people who travel a little can not be afraid of anything. Tourists visiting different tropical and incredible corners of the world should observe one most important rule - you cannot swim in reservoirs, the purity of which is in doubt.


Epidemiology of the disease

Despite the general depressing picture of the development and consequences of this disease, the situation is getting better, more and more recorded cases of infection are encountered. The reason is that over the past decades, tropical countries have been carrying out a fairly successful fight against the disease. Important events are held in China, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Mauritius, Brazil and other countries. In many of them, cases with this pathology are no longer recorded.