In this era of increasing demand for sensitive techniques to diagnose schistosomiasis, there is a need for an increased focus on the properties of the parasite eggs. The eggs are not only directly linked to the morbidity of chronic infection but are also potential key targets for accurate diagnostics. Eggs were the primary target of diagnostic tools in the past and we argue they could be the target of highly sensitive tools in the future if we focus on characteristics of their structure and shell surface that could be exploited for enhanced detection. In this review, we discuss the current state of knowledge of the physical structures of schistosome eggs and eggshells with a view to identifying pathways to a comprehensive understanding of their role in the host-parasite relationship and pathogenesis of infection, and pathways to new strategies for development of diagnostics.
|Name||Advances in Parasitology|