Schistosomes are long-lived parasites, hence schistosomiasis is a chronic disease with severe long-term implications. However, definitive diagnosis of active infection has been difficult because demonstration of infection has depended on detecting parasite eggs in urine and/or stool. In the case of Schistosoma haematobium which parasitizes the urinogenital system, this method has low sensitivity in adults. Detection of parasite-specific DNA in urine has been demonstrated and this has similar specificity but improved sensitivity. The implications of this new procedure and the impact on diagnosis are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases