Monitoring schistosomiasis and sanitation interventions—the potential of environmental DNA

Champion, T. S., Connelly, S. , Smith, C. J. and Lamberton, P. H.L. (2021) Monitoring schistosomiasis and sanitation interventions—the potential of environmental DNA. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 8(1), e1491. (doi: 10.1002/wat2.1491)

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Transmission of schistosomiasis, a human parasitic disease, is intrinsically linked to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities and/or their use. The mainstay of control is population‐based chemotherapy. Globally, each year, 240 million people are estimated to require this preventative treatment. However, for long‐term, sustainable control of this disease, supplementary WASH improvements are required to prevent (re)infection of humans (provision of safe water) and transmission from humans to the environment (improved sanitation). While there is established methodology for monitoring transmission in human populations, presently methods for monitoring the impact of WASH interventions, in particular sanitation, on environmental transmission are lacking. Development of such becomes paramount as integrated control programs combine drug treatments with enhanced WASH facilities and behavior change interventions, with uptake likely correlated to a reduction in fecal matter, and schistosome eggs, in the environment but any impact on infection levels in humans taking longer to become apparent. This article reports and critiques the methods currently used to monitor schistosomiasis in freshwater and soil environments and explores how environmental DNA could be used to better understand and monitor environmental contamination in relation to sanitation. Stronger evidence is required to understand how different sanitation interventions serve to limit the environmental transmission of the parasite and their relative effectiveness in preventing disease.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Cindy and Lamberton, Professor Poppy and Champion, Teteh and Connelly, Dr Stephanie
Authors: Champion, T. S., Connelly, S., Smith, C. J., and Lamberton, P. H.L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
ISSN (Online):2049-1948
Published Online:08 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 8(1): e1491
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172876SCHISTO-PERSISTPoppy LambertonEuropean Research Council (ERC)680088Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
306568Mathematical tools to inform sustainable interventions against schistosomiasis infections in UgandaPoppy LambertonEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)88608 (EP/T003618/1)HW - Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
300573Novel low cost diagnostic tools and their impact in AfricaJonathan CooperEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R01437X/1ENG - Biomedical Engineering