Two-year follow-up of Schistosoma mansoni infection and morbidity after treatment with different regimens of oxamniquine and praziquantel

B Gryseels, L Nkulikyinka

Research output: Contribution to journalA2: International peer reviewed article (not A1-type)peer-review


Three study groups in the Rusizi plain (Burundi) were examined parasitologically (duplicate 28 mg Kato slides) and clinically (history, abdominal palpation) 0, 1.5, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after treatment for Schistosoma mansoni infection. Infected subjects in Maramvya (n = 430) were treated randomly with oxamniquine 20, 30 or 40 mg/kg; those in Bulinga (n = 457) with praziquantel, 20, 30 or 40 mg/kg; those in Bulamata (n = 333) with praziquantel, 30 or 40 mg/kg. In children (less than 20 years) in Maramvya and Bulamata, infection rates and intensities returned almost to pretreatment levels one to 2 years after treatment. In Bulinga, reinfection in children was much less intense. Hardly any reinfection occurred in adults in Bulinga and Maramvya; in Bulamata, half of the cured adults were reinfected, most of them lightly, 2 years after treatment. The initial parasitological advantage of the higher dosages of both drugs disappeared generally 3-12 months after treatment. There was no indication of predisposition to heavy reinfection after treatment of subjects with initial high egg counts. Little relation between pre-treatment egg count and morbidity was observed. The impact of chemotherapy on hepatomegaly was limited and observed only in adults treated with 40 mg/kg of either drug. Spleen rates in children and adults were not affected. Abdominal pain was reduced in almost all treatment groups for 3 to 24 months. The frequency of bloody diarrhoea decreased dramatically in children and adults from all 3 villages. This effect lasted 24 months in Maramvya, 12 months in Bulinga and 6 months in Bulamata, and was not dose-dependent. It is concluded that: (i) repeated population chemotherapy combined with sanitation is necessary to achieve lasting impact on infection rates; (ii) retreatment intervals should be adapted to age group and, possibly, local endemicity levels; (iii) the morbidity impact of population chemotherapy in these conditions was greater on intestinal than on hepatosplenic disease; (iv) lower, cheaper treatment schedules may in the long term be as effective as those with high cure rates
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Pages (from-to)219-228
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Helminthic diseases
  • Morbidity
  • Treatment
  • Nitroquinolines
  • Oxamniquine
  • Praziquantel
  • Burundi
  • Rusizi
  • Africa-Central


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