Validation of home-based self-sampling for the diagnosis of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) in Zambian women with and without HIV seroconversion

Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) affects over 45 million women worldwide and in sub-Saharan  Africa it is possibly the most underestimated gynecological affliction caused by an infectious agent,  the waterborne parasite S. haematobium (Sh). FGS is associated with genital symptoms and infertility with compelling evidence of increased HIV prevalence in Sh infected women. FGS Diagnosis is extremely challenging, as it relies on expensive equipment that is seldom available in resource limited areas.  

The overall aim of this project is to test the performance and acceptability of home-based genital  self-sampling procedures for the detection of Sh DNA , and to validate novel molecular diagnostic  assays to diagnose Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) in Zambian women, with and without  HIV seroconversion. The project will also explore novel biomarkers of inflammation from vaginalfluid  as potential markers of disease severity.

Primary LCNTDR organisation

External partners

  • Ministry of Health in Zambian-NTD control
  • Leiden University Medical Center-Molecular Parasitology Department