Published on July 30, 2020   56 min

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Other Talks in the Series: Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Hello, my name is Professor Russell Stothard, I'd like to talk to you today about schistosomiasis. I'm a medical parasitologist at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I originally did my PhD on schistosomiasis on the island of Zanzibar. But today's lecture will be a broader appraisal of the disease, its natural history, as well as attempts to control.
There are many different types of parasitic worms. These are divided into two major groups. The nematodes on the right, in blue, these are roundworms, and then the flatworms, the platyhelminths in yellow on the left. Within the platyhelminths, there are two major divisions, the trematodes, which are flukes, also known as flatworms, and they are non-segmented, and then the cestodes, tapeworms, which are segmented, also flat. Schistosomes are part of the trematodes and they live within the blood. As you go down the chart, you will see the blood flukes. Here we have three different species of schistosome labeled Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum. We'll discuss the natural history of each of these three parasites in due course.
Schistosomes are very much at home in the blood. They're unusual worms, as they live inside the blood vessel and they are completely at home within the blood. In this lecture, I will talk about the natural history of each of the parasites. You'd like to think of them as players and discuss their characters and how they act out on their stage, and also show how their lifecycle is adapted to cause disease. In the image to the right, here we have children playing and catching fish in a water body in Burkina Faso. At the same time, they're being exposed to schistosomiasis. We'll discussed this aspect of their lifecycle in due course. Later on, we'll talk about the presentation of the disease. The children on the right-hand side picture are actually holding up red urine. They are infected with a form of schistosomiasis, which causes their urine to turn red through the small amounts of blood inside it. There are a variety of other signs and symptoms which the disease can cause, but we'll also talk about severe aspects of infection and disease.