Praziquantel is the cornerstone of schistosomiasis control. A number of reports from endemic areas suggest that resistance or tolerance to praziquantel might exist in Schistosoma mansoni. Several explanations were postulated. The present work was designed to test the hypothesis that a low praziquantel (pzq) cure rate in Egypt is due to survival and maturation of immature stages that escaped pzq, which is effective against mature S. mansoni worms only. The study sample included 1351 children attending El Rouse primary school located in El Rouse village, Nile Delta, Egypt. All children received 2 pzq doses (40 mg/kg) 4 weeks apart. Diagnosis of S. mansoni infection and cure assessment were based on examination of 2 Kato slides prepared from a single stool sample collected before and 4 weeks after the first and second treatments. The cure rate was 78·8% after the first treatment and increased significantly to 90·8% after the second treatment. Egg reduction rates were 71·2% and 77·2% after 1 and 2 treatments respectively. Pre-treatment intensity of infection has a great influence on cure and egg reduction rates. Our results confirmed that low praziquantel cure rate, in Egypt, might be attributed, even partially, to survival and maturation of the immature S. mansoni stages that escaped pzq that is effective against mature worms only.
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