Published in Lancet Infectious Diseases is the first international study on the definition of imported schistosomiasis, resulting from the collaboration between IRCCS in Negrar and UniBs

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Prof. Gobbi

The University of Brescia has always been a leader in research on neglected tropical diseases, including schistosomiasis. Recently, the scientific journal Lancet Infectious Diseases published the first international study – Consensus definitions in imported human schistosomiasis: a GeoSentinel and TropNet Delphi study – which involved numerous international schistosomiasis experts and achieved a consensus on the clinical aspects of this disease through the Delphi method.

The study was conceived and conducted by the IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria in Negrar (VR) and the University of Brescia, which coordinated international experts from both GeoSentinel (a global network of travel medicine centers) and TropNet (a European network of tropical medicine). The study arose from the lack of clear and precise definitions of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease. Definitions in medicine are essential for clinical description, decision-making, research, and scientific communications. The lack of harmonization in terminology and definition of clinical aspects leads to misunderstandings and hinders the further development of treatment recommendations and follow-up. Thanks to this study using the Delphi method, a consensus was reached on the definitions of the clinical aspects of imported schistosomiasis, including acute or chronic forms; possible, probable, or confirmed schistosomiasis; active schistosomiasis; complicated schistosomiasis.

“Schistosomiasis is part of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a heterogeneous group of chronic infections predominantly found in low-income countries. NTDs could be controlled and prevented using effective and affordable strategies, but have long been overlooked in the global political agenda,” stated Prof. Federico Gobbi, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Brescia and Director of the Department of Infectious/Tropical Diseases and Microbiology at IRCCS in Negrar (VR). « Schistosomiasis is the second parasitic cause of death in the world after malaria and is responsible for about 200,000 deaths a year, 90% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. In a global health context, it is important that schistosomiasis is well understood and defined even in non-endemic areas as it is often diagnosed late, especially in migrants. With this study, we aimed to reach a consensus on the clinical definitions of schistosomiasis as a basis for making this disease less neglected. Such definitions could represent a shared ground for broader consensus among physicians from other disciplines and could also be applied in endemic environments, after considering specific conditions and practical applications ».

Last updated on: 16/04/2024