Critical analysis of molluscicide application in schistosomiasis control programs in BrazilReport as inadecuate

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Infectious Diseases of Poverty

, 5:57

First Online: 04 July 2016Received: 23 December 2015Accepted: 24 May 2016DOI: 10.1186-s40249-016-0153-6

Cite this article as: Coelho, P. & Caldeira, R. Infect Dis Poverty 2016 5: 57. doi:10.1186-s40249-016-0153-6


In Brazil, Biomphalaria glabrata, B. tenagophila, and B. straminea are naturally infected by the trematode Schistosoma mansoni, the causative agent of schistosomiasis. Despite decades of governmental efforts through official control programs, schistosomiasis remains an important public health problem in the country: thousands of people are infected with the trematode each year and millions live in endemic areas. The World Health Organization recommends using a combination of molluscicide niclosamide and mass chemotherapy to control the transmission of schistosomiasis, with this treatment successfully reducing the morbidity of the disease. In the past, niclosamide has been used in official schistosomiasis control programs in Brazil. However, as B. glabrata recolonizes even after molluscicide application, the use of molluscicides has gradually decreased in the country until they were discontinued in 2002, mainly due to the rising global pressure to preserve the environment and the difficulties of obtaining licenses from the Brazilian Ministry of Environment to use toxic substances in aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, the discovery of new molluscicides, which could be more selective to Biomphalaria species and less harmful to the aquatic ecosystem, is necessary. In addition, political efforts to sensitize funders to provide grants for this field of research are required. In this context, this article aims to make a critical analysis of molluscicide application in schistosomiasis control programs in Brazil.

KeywordsBiomphalaria Molluscicide Schistosoma mansoni Schistosomiasis Vector control Brazil Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s40249-016-0153-6 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: PMZ Coelho - RL Caldeira


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