Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by five species of the parasitic genus Schistosoma

Humans are infected with schistosomes after contact with freshwater containing cercariae released by infected snails

Symptoms & Signs 

Schistosomiasis has three stages of clinical symptomatology corresponding to the life cycle of the parasite in the human host 

Stage 1: Cercarial Dermatitis (“Swimmer’s Itch”)

The first stage is characterized by a very itchy maculopapular rash which occurs at the time of penetration 

Stage 2: Acute schistosomiasis (Katayama syndrome)

The second stage is characterized by a serum sickness like syndrome with elevated levels of immunoglobulin E and eosinophilia. 

-Fever,chills, myalgias, headache, cough, sweating, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and pulmonary infiltrates 

Stage 3: Chronic schistosomiasis

The third, chronic stage is characterized by granulomatous reactions to egg deposition in the intestine, liver, bladder, lung and CNS 

-Chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, blood loss, portal hypertension, splenomegaly, bleeding esophageal varices, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided congestive heart failure, transverse myelitis, hematuria, bladder obstruction, hydroureter, and hydronephrosis


Diagnostic methods: Detection of schistosome eggs in stool or urine, ELISA, biopsy of the rectum, colon, liver or bladder 

-Eggs of Schistosoma haematobium possess a characteristic terminal spine


The drug of choice for treatment of schistosomiasis is praziquantel

Chemoprophylaxis with artemether has shown efficacy 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.