Discovered in 1851 by the German physician Theodor Bilharz
What is Schistosomiasis?
Also known as Snail Fever and Bilharzia this is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms
called schistosomes. The urinary tract or the intestines may be infected.Those who have been infected for a long time may experience liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer. In children, it may cause poor growth and
learning difficulty. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis
Where is Schistosomiasis found?
Schistosomiasis is found all over the world usually in developing countries from the Tropics. Thinking of it as a disease of Africa is not correct though; as the world has gotten smaller due to intercontinental flights and migrations. Many years ago we saw it spread following the trade routes of the 1800's today its only as far as your next airplane ticket or local waterway. There are reports of it showing up in fresh waterways in southern France and even the Caribbean islands, think about that the next time you book a holiday. The highest levels of schistosome transmission are in communities living near freshwater lakes and rivers.
Around 240 million people worldwide have it and more than 200,000 deaths per year are a result of schistosomiasis.
Schistosomiasis is now being found in first world countries such as the US and UK from persons with no travel history to endemic countries.
How is Schistosomiasis transmitted?
Individuals get infected when they come into contact with fresh water contaminated with the schistosome parasite. Fresh water becomes contaminated with the parasite when individuals infected with schistosomiasis urinate or defecate in the water, releasing the parasite’s eggs, which later hatch.The parasite larvae then develop and multiply inside specific types of freshwater snails, before re-entering the water. Then it can survive for up to 48 hours in the water as it swims around looking for a human host to infect.
Recent developments have revealed that Schistosomiasis can be transmitted sexually between partners. Testing is underway and results are coming in of both partners being infected with Schistosomiasis.
How does it affect you?
When the schistosome parasite finds a host in the water, it burrows into your skin where it typically will leave red bumps or a swimmers like rash. After this it makes its way to the capillaries entering into the circulatory system stopping first in the lungs. After that phase the parasite changes into a small worm like parasite and starts to move to your liver. Once in your liver the parasite goes through its final phase and becomes an adult worm where it moves again settling into its residence either the blood vessels located around your bladder (Haematobium)or the blood vessels around your intestines (Mansoni). Once there is when the real damage starts to take place, eggs. Now that the worm is in its adult form it finds a mate and they begin to produce thousands of eggs a day. The eggs migrate through the attaching tissue into either the bladder or intestines to be expelled by the human host and hence perpetuate the cycle all over again. This is where the true damage of the disease takes place as the eggs irritate the linings and cause inflammation. Some of the eggs will be trapped due to your bodies natural defenses and cysts will form that later can develop into cancer. Frequent urination and or frequent deification of loose or floating stool is a strong symptom of schistosomiasis. Why floating? Floating is what the parasites have evolved to do as human host are more likely accessible at the surface of fresh waters.
In STD transmissions the first signs of it show up as an UTI with frequent urination and malaise. If left untreated the more severe and associated schistosomiasis symptoms appear.
If you suffer from IC (Interstitial cystitis) or painful bladder syndrome there is a good chance that it is Schistosomiasis.
Symptoms of Schistosomiasis
Schistosomiasis haematobium - mansoni- japonica - mekong: Clinically treated with Praziquantel 60mg/kg/dailty orally in 3 divided doses for 1 day.
Artemether (6 mg/kg), which is well known for its antimalarial activity, kills schistosomula during the first 21 days in the body.
Schistosomiasis (IC) Connection
Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
We partnered with an I.C. (Interstitial Cystitis) support group in the U.K. and tested them. Most of these ladies have been clinically diagnosed as having I.C. by their GP.
The results were 21 people tested to include some of the ladies partners or spouses and there were 14 positives in the group with 7 negatives.
Most of the ladies had symptoms equal to schistosomiasis with bladder pain and vaginal discomfort being the number one complaint. None of the ladies had any travel to endemic regions in the world where schistosomiasis was present. They all started to show symptoms after having sexual relations with men. Some of those men were from an endemic regions or have traveled themselves to an endemic region only to bring it back with them.
The more I study this I am convinced that this is a new strain of schistosomiasis and is being spread sexually. As an infected male or female in that matter, is capable of hosting the parasite in their genitals allowing it to spread during intercourse. Simply put if a male had become infected with schistosomiasis haematobium and was shedding eggs at the time of sex he would ejaculate those eggs into the female's vagina. There it would be met with a hospitable environment, wet, warm and acceptable for it to hatch within its 15 minute window of exposure to water (vaginal fluid). Once it has hatched it's now a miracidia and free to move about looking for a blood supply to continue its lifecycle into an adult worm.
A few of the ladies were able to receive praziquantel and took it in a varying number of ways. Some took it at 60mg/kg single dose, 60mg/kg divided over 3 doses in a day, one tried taking that dose for 3 days in a row.
We know that praziquantel works to kill the adult worms but we are lacking an approved drug to treat the juvenile stage of the infection. Without this we are just kicking the can down the road so to speak as you will never become cured. The current drug administration usually is a second dose at 6 weeks as that is the time it takes to mature into an adult. There is an herbal remedy but it's just that an unregulated or approved to treat schistosomiasis and that is wormwood. Wormwood as been long used in history to treat parasitic infections in the larval stage. It is very close chemically to Artemether a pharmaceutical drug that is used to treat malaria.
As a result of the study subjects that took praziquantel followed by herbal treatment were cured of Interstitial Cystitis / Schistosomiasis.
Sexually Transmitted Parasite
Schistosomiasis as an STD
Female Genital Schistosomiasis:
Because Haematobium resides in the urinary and reproductive tracts it can be spread sexually. Infections typically show up as an UTI and are misdiagnosed as such.
Search: World Health Organization Female Genital Schistosomiasis for facts.
Schistosomiasis can also affect males as well as females. Cases are coming in about people with no travel history to subtropical areas contracting the disease from sexual partners in first world countries.
We are finding adult schistosomiasis worms in semen and vaginal samples in the U.K. and U.S.. Along with this we have taken urine samples and found miracidia from those same people. Miracidia are a juvenile form of schistosomiasis as it makes its way through the growth cycle.
Symptoms of an STD schistosomiasis infection will begin to show up 48 hours to a week later with increased urination accompanied with discomfort or pain. A sense of urgency to urinate every 2 hours is an indications that the human body is trying to expel a foreign object from the urethra.
Semen quality in Schistosoma haematobium infected men in Madagascar.
The seminal vesicles and the prostate are frequently affected by egg-induced inflammation in Schistosoma haematobium infected men. The objective of this study was to assess the semen quality in men with male genital schistosomiasis (MGS). The examination of the semen samples was performed in men aged 15 to 49 years living an S. haematobium endemic area in Madagascar prior to anti-schistosoma treatment with praziquantel and five months later. Men from the high endemic Sirama sugarcane plantation with positive egg excretion in the urine and circulating anodic antigen (CAA) present in serum (n=85) were compared to men (without egg excretion and no CAA) from the neighbouring low-endemic Mataipako village (n=57). The proportion of men with egg excretion in semen was significantly higher in Sirama than in Mataipako (53% versus 4%), whereas the median ejaculate volume was significantly lower in Sirama (1.8 ml versus 2.4 ml). There was no statistical difference in median spermatocyte counts and in the proportions of men detected with azoospermia. The mean apoptotic rate was 7.8% in a subgroup of 30 men from Sirama. A positive correlation was found between apoptotic rate and seminal eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) level (rho=0.560; P<0.001). At follow up, egg excretion and ECP level in semen declined significantly and were paralleled by a significant reduction in the apoptotic rate. The study suggests that S. haematobium infection is associated with sperm apoptosis and a reduced production of seminal fluid. Egg induced inflammation in the seminal vesicles and the prostate could be underlying mechanism for both observations.
Our Schistosomiasis Story
In 2011 I became sick while working overseas in the Middle East with a fever, frequent urination along with kidney and bladder pain plus a long list of other health related problems due to parasites. I returned home gave the disease to my wife and we battled it together. It took me 6 years to finally figure out what was wrong with me as I was diagnosed with Schistosomiasis in 2017. We spent another 2 years trying to figure out how to cure her and remove it from her reproductive tract. I created a new drug to treat (FGS) Female Genital Schistosomiasis.
This has led me to create Schistosomiasis.org Inc. a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the awareness and eradication of Schistosomiasis. Our organization is had at work supporting new drug developments and research for this dreaded disease. Together we can make a difference!