Schistosomiasis: an epidemiological update on Brazil's southernmost low endemic area in Esteio

Angélica da Paz Ramírez, Vivian Favero, Catieli Gobetti Lindholz, Carolina de Marco Veríssimo, Vanessa Fey Pascoal, Renata Russo Frasca Candido, Alessandra Loureiro Morassutti, Carlos Graeff-Teixeira

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INTRODUCTION: Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul (RGS), was considered schistosomiasis-free until 1998 when a low endemic focus was identified in Esteio, a city located next to the capital of RGS. In the last two decades, the control interventions applied in the region have been apparently successful, and the absence of new cases indicated the possibility of interrupted schistosomiasis transmission. The objective of this study was to update the clinical and epidemiological data of schistosomiasis in Esteio. METHODS: We reviewed all 28 individuals diagnosed with the infection since 1997 and a survey was applied to a group of 29 school-aged children residing in Vila Pedreira, one of the most affected neighborhoods. RESULTS: No eggs were detected in fecal samples using the Helmintex method, and all samples were negative for serum antibodies on examination by the western blot technique using the Schistosoma mansoni microsomal antigen (MAMA- WB). In contrast, 23 individuals (79%) tested positive for the cathodic circulating antigen with the point-of-care immunochromatographic test (POC-CCA) on urine samples. Of the 28 formerly infected individuals, only eight were located, of which four tested positive, and four tested negative for serum antibodies using the MAMA-WB technique. CONCLUSIONS: Current adverse conditions for S. mansoni transmission in Esteio and the absence of a confirmed diagnosis suggests that there is (i) a lack of specificity of the POC-CCA test in low endemic settings, and (ii) a high probability that interruption of schistosomiasis has been achieved in Esteio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e20200411
JournalRevista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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