Two-year impact of single praziquantel treatment on infection in the national control programme on schistosomiasis in Burkina Faso
Seydou Touré, Yaobi Zhang, Elisa Bosqué-Oliva, Césaire Ky, Amado Ouedraogo, Artemis Koukounari, Albis F Gabrielli, Bertrand Sellin, Joanne P Webster, Alan Fenwick
To evaluate the impact on schistosomiasis of biennial treatment with praziquantel (PZQ) among school-age children in Burkina Faso, the first country that achieved full national coverage with treatment of more than 90% of the school-age population.
A cohort of 1727 schoolchildren (6–14 years old) was monitored at yearly intervals through a longitudinal survey. Additional groups of schoolchildren were monitored in cross-sectional surveys. Parasitological examinations for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni were performed, and prevalence and intensity of infection before and after treatment were analysed.
Data from the longitudinal cohort show that a single round of PZQ treatment significantly reduced prevalence of S. haematobium infection by 87% (from 59.6% to 7.7%) and intensity of infection by 92.8% (from 94.2 to 6.8 eggs/10 ml of urine) 2 years post-treatment. The impact on infection was also confirmed by a cross-sectional survey 2 years post-treatment. Importantly, the proportion of school-age children with heavy S. haematobium infection decreased from around 25% before treatment to around 2–3% 2 years post-treatment. Cross-sectional comparison of S. haematobium infection in 7-year-old children in their first year at school, who received treatment through community-based drug delivery, also showed significant reduction in both prevalence (65.9%) and intensity of S. haematobium infection (78.4%) 2 years after single treatment. A significant reduction in S. mansoni infection was also achieved.
Significant and sustained reduction in S. haematobium infection was achieved by biennial treatment in school-age children in Burkina Faso. This may provide a cost-effective treatment strategy for similar national schistosomiasis control programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.