Bonnie Webster at the London Centre for NTD Research Anniversary Event 2021

16 Feb 2021

Critical actions required to meet the WHO 2030 targets for schistosomiasis elimination as a public health problem includes the need for sensitive point-of-care diagnostics and the development of molecular tests for xenomonitoring and transmission surveillance.

Appropriate diagnostic/transmission detection tools are required that can be readily adapted at different stages of a control programme. Sensitive and specific diagnostic tests are needed to prevent false negative diagnosis at the point-of-care/need so that infected individuals can be treated. This will not only support the move towards elimination, but will also restrain transmission resurgence, a real risk for schistosomiasis.

Snail xenomonitoring and eDNA methods are needed to detect transmission, enable targeted interventions and help better understand the local transmission dynamics of different schistosome species. Moreover, these tools for assessing Schistosoma transmission could eventually be used during elimination programs to identify focal areas of persisting transmission or certify elimination and/or transmission interruption.