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Don't go swimming with the snail ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:20pm

Don't go swimming with the snails.... People become infected with Schistosoma when they wade, swim or bathe in fresh water inhabited by snails, which serve as the worms' intermediate hosts....genomic advances for a new approach to eliminate...BD image

A research team supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has identified chemical compounds that hold promise as potential therapies for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that afflicts more than 200 million people worldwide. The findings were reported in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Medicine.  The microscopic worms enter the human body by boring through the skin and migrate into the blood vessels that supply the intestinal and urinary systems. After the worms mature and reproduce, their eggs are eliminated in human urine and feces. If human waste contaminated by worm eggs finds its way into fresh water, the cycle begins again.

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia or snail fever, affects an estimated 207 million people, most of whom live in developing nations in tropical areas. About 20 million of those people are seriously disabled due to severe anemia, diarrhea, internal bleeding and/or organ damage. In addition, another 280,000 die of the disease each year.

New Leads For Treating Parasitic Worm Disease Identifed

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