Determining the optimal strategies to achieve elimination of transmission for Schistosoma mansoni.
Kura K., Ayabina D., Hollingsworth TD., Anderson RM.
BackgroundIn January 2021, the World Health Organization published the 2021-2030 roadmap for the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The goal for schistosomiasis is to achieve elimination as a public health problem (EPHP) and elimination of transmission (EOT) in 78 and 25 countries (by 2030), respectively. Mass drug administration (MDA) of praziquantel continues to be the main strategy for control and elimination. However, as there is limited availability of praziquantel, it is important to determine what volume of treatments are required, who should be targeted and how frequently treatment must be administered to eliminate either transmission or morbidity caused by infection in different endemic settings with varied transmission intensities. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this paper, we employ two individual-based stochastic models of schistosomiasis transmission developed independently by the Imperial College London (ICL) and University of Oxford (SCHISTOX) to determine the optimal treatment strategies to achieve EOT. We find that treating school-age children (SAC) only is not sufficient to achieve EOT within a feasible time frame, regardless of the transmission setting and observed age-intensity of infection profile. Both models show that community-wide treatment is necessary to interrupt transmission in all endemic settings with low, medium and high pristine transmission intensities.ConclusionsThe required MDA coverage level to achieve either transmission or morbidity elimination depends on the prevalence prior to the start of treatment and the burden of infection in adults. The higher the worm burden in adults, the higher the coverage levels required for this age category through community-wide treatment programmes. Therefore, it is important that intensity and prevalence data are collected in each age category, particularly from SAC and adults, so that the correct coverage level can be calculated and administered.