RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
China's new strategy to block Schistosoma japonicum transmission: experiences and impact beyond schistosomiasis.
Despite sustained efforts for its control made over the past 50+ years, the re-emergence of schistosomiasis in China was noted around the turn of the new millennium. Consequently, a new integrated strategy was proposed to stop the contamination of schistosome eggs to the environment, which emphasizes health education, access to clean water and adequate sanitation, mechanization of agriculture and fencing of water buffaloes, along with chemotherapy. Validation of this integrated control strategy in four pilot counties in the provinces of Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi revealed significant reductions in the rate of Schistosoma japonicum infection in humans and intermediate host snails. Importantly, this strategy showed an impact on diseases beyond schistosomiasis, signified by concomitant reductions in the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections. In view of China's new integrated strategy for transmission control of schistosomiasis showing an ancillary benefit on other helminthic diseases, we encourage others to investigate the scope and limits of integrated control of neglected tropical diseases.
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