Rx: Schistosomiasis has been effectively treated with chemotherapy- A drug called Praziquantel is the weapon of choice. It is a broad spectrum drug that attacks the adult worm in all 5 species, and has been shown to produce a 96% reduction in the number of eggs with only 2 doses of 40 mg/kg given in a day. Side effects could include mild abdominal pain and fever. Some concerns have been expressed that some schistosomes will eventually develop a resistance to the drug.
Praziquantel reverses pathology and controls morbidity. As little as six months of treatment have been shown to result in significant reversal of changes to the urogenital tract.
An alternative drug, oxamniquine, can be used to treat S. mansoni, in a single dosage of 15 mg/kg.
Prevention: Exposure to Schistosomiasis will be limited by providing increased health education, keeping people out of high risk environments, such as irrigation channels and streams, to provide clean water and sanitation, and to control snail populations with molluscicides.
Schisto needs to go through a stage within the intermediate host snails. Programs are already underway in some locations to kill the snails and make the waters safe.
One potential natural form of molluscicide is Soap Berry Endod (Phytolacca dodecandra), a plant native to Ethiopia. Research suggests that this could be made into an effective soap form of molluscicide.