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Schistosomiasis Research

Dr Shona Wilson and Dr Safari Kinung’hi

Mapping the Parasite Schistosoma Haematobium in Tanzania

In collaboration with Safari Kinung’hi from the National Institute of Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania, Dr Shona Wilson from the Department of Pathology is starting a 3-year project examining how transmission of the parasite is driving the development of this immunity.  Collaborative training workshops have been established between Kenya and Tanzania to map the location of parasite infected snails, and to measure how many snails are shedding, or have the potential to shed, the parasite. Worm burden in infected individuals can be measured using a sensitive assay of ‘circulating anodic antigen’ (CAA), a specific gut derived antigen secreted by the parasite.

Findings from these surveys will be combined with information from interviews with school age children to identify which snail sites are popular play areas and therefore likely sources of transmission. Designing the questionnaire to obtain accurate information, and transferring to electronic format, is one main aims of an associated PhD project being undertaken by Teckla Angelo. The information from these studies will provide essential knowledge of S. haematobium transmission dynamics within Mwanza Region, which will be the basis for future collaborative studies on immunity and immunopathology of this infection.  

Funded by a Leverhulme - Royal Society Africa Award

Image of male and female Schistosomiasis worms in a life long egg producing embrace.  Credit: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute