What is Schistosomiasis?

Freshwater snails, of the genera Bulinus and Biomphalaria, shedding cercaria the schistosome life stage infecting humans.

Schistosomiasis infecting approximately 200 million people in over 70 countries leading to a chronically debilitating disease causing up to 300,000 deaths per year.  

Schistosomiasis is classed as one of the major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD).

Infection rates are highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where the greatest impact of the disease is evident.

What causes Schistosomiasis ?

Schistosomiasis is caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes, which are transmitted by intermediate host freshwater snails. 

Cercariae, the infectious stage, burrow through the skin eventually reaching blood vessels around the intestine or bladder. 

Eggs laid by the parasite cause reactions in the body, which lead to the disease.

  • Schistosoma mansoni male/female pair
    Schistosoma mansoni (trematode flatworm) - 21/01/2010

    This trematode flatworm is one of the major causes of schistosomiasis, a widespread disease that damages internal organs and affects millions of people worldwide. Find out more about Schistosoma mansoni, its lifecycle and how it can cause schistosomiasis.