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Current Trends in Immunology   Volumes    Volume 5 
A vaccine for Asian schistosomiasis
Donald P. McManus
Pages: 81 - 90
Number of pages: 10
Current Trends in Immunology
Volume 5 

Copyright © 2003 Research Trends. All rights reserved


There is continued transmission of schistosomiasis japonica in China and The Philippines, despite highly effective control programs that focus on the application of the highly effective drug praziquantel (PZQ). The Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River in Southern China, soon to be completed, is expected to significantly increase schistosomiasis transmission and introduce the disease into areas currently unaffected. After long term experience it is generally accepted that PZQ chemotherapy, although the cornerstone of current control programs, does have significant limitations. Furthermore, efficient drug delivery requires a substantial infrastructure to regularly cover all parts of an endemic area. Although there is not yet clear-cut evidence for the existence of PZQ-resistant schistosome strains, decreased susceptibility to the drug has been observed in several countries. As a result, a protective vaccine represents an essential component for the long-term control of schistosomiasis. This article describes the current status in the development of vaccines against S. japonicum. With new and extensive data becoming available from the S. japonicum genome project, the prospects for developing an effective vaccine are encouraging.

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