Schistosomiasis and praziquantel resistance
A study led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reviews the recent significant advances in understanding the molecular basis of praziquantel action and drug resistance in Schistosoma mansoni. The recent WHO treatment guidelines aim to extend and scale up mass drug administration of praziquantel in schistosomiasis endemic countries. The WHO NTD roadmap aims to achieve the elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2030. The scale up of mass drug administration programs may heighten the drug selection pressures on Schistosoma parasites, which could lead to the emergence of drug resistance. Until recently, drug resistance studies on field Schistosoma populations have been hindered by the lack of molecular markers associated with praziquantel resistance. The review discusses praziquantel resistance in the context of alternative factors that may decrease efficacy within endemic field settings, and the most recent treatment guidelines recommended by the WHO.