Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS): from case reports to a call for concerted action against this neglected gynaecological disease

Vanessa Christinet, Janis K Lazdins-Helds, J Russell Stothard, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp
International Journal for Parasitology 2016, 46 (7): 395-404
In recent years, control of neglected tropical diseases has been increasingly gaining momentum and interventions against schistosomiasis are being progressively scaled-up through expansion of donated praziquantel and preventive chemotherapy campaigns. However, the public health importance of female genital schistosomiasis is not fully recognised nor its control is adequately addressed. Taking a clinical and anatomopathological perspective, we evaluated the available literature to highlight the importance of female genital schistosomiasis and its connections with two sexually transmitted infections of global importance, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Human Papilloma Virus. Outside the long list of clinical descriptive reports beginning in 1899, there is presently a shocking gap in epidemiological assessment and a significant underestimation of the burden of FGS remains. The scarcity of integrated approaches to address female genital schistosomiasis calls for more concerted action in its detection, treatment and prevention alongside other concomitant women's health issues, otherwise female genital schistosomiasis will remain a neglected gynaecological disease.

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