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Knowles, SCL; Webster, BL; Garba, A; Sacko, M; Diaw, OT; Fenwick, A; Rollinson, D; Webster, JP (2015)
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Types: Article
Subjects: RC955-962, Research Article, RA1-1270, Public aspects of medicine, Arctic medicine. Tropical medicine

Classified by OpenAIRE into

mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases
Background In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis co-occur, and mixed species infections containing both Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni can be common. During co-infection, interactions between these two species are possible, yet the extent to which such interactions influence disease dynamics or the outcome of control efforts remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we analyse epidemiological data from three West African countries co-endemic for urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis (Senegal, Niger and Mali) to test whether the impact of praziquantel (PZQ) treatment, subsequent levels of re-infection or long-term infection dynamics are altered by co-infection. In all countries, positive associations between the two species prevailed at baseline: infection by one species tended to predict infection intensity for the other, with the strength of association varying across sites. Encouragingly, we found little evidence that co-infection influenced PZQ efficacy: species-specific egg reduction rates (ERR) and cure rates (CR) did not differ significantly with co-infection, and variation in treatment success was largely geographical. In Senegal, despite positive associations at baseline, children with S. mansoni co-infection at the time of treatment were less intensely re-infected by S. haematobium than those with single infections, suggesting competition between the species may occur post-treatment. Furthermore, the proportion of schistosome infections attributable to S. mansoni increased over time in all three countries examined. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that while co-infection between urinary and intestinal schistosomes may not directly affect PZQ treatment efficacy, competitive interspecific interactions may influence epidemiological patterns of re-infection post-treatment. While re-infection patterns differed most strongly according to geographic location, interspecific interactions also seem to play a role, and could cause the community composition in mixed species settings to shift as disease control efforts intensify, a situation with implications for future disease management in this multi-species system.