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Elimination of urogenital schistosomiasis in Iran: past history and the current situation

  • SHAHRAM KHADEMVATAN (a1) (a2), SHOKROLLAH SALMANZADEH (a1), MASOUD FOROUTAN-RAD (a3) (a4) and MOHAMMAD GHOMESHI (a5)
Summary

In recent years, through a national programme for schistosomiasis control, this infection has been eliminated from Iran. The aim of this study was to report the process of significant decrease of urogenital schistosomiasis in southwestern Iran. During national programme surveillance for urogenital schistosomiasis control which was implemented by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of Khuzestan province from 1975 to 2013, more than 1·3 million urine samples were taken from inhabitants of high risk foci. All urine samples were gathered between 10:00 a.m and 02:00 p.m and, after centrifuging, specimens were tested under optical microscope in order to detect Schistosoma haematobium eggs. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 18 software. In this retrospective study significant reduction was seen in number of infections between 1975 and 2013. During the years 1975–1980, 1981–1990 and 1991–2000 there were 1582, 761 and 79 cases of S. haematobium, respectively. In 2001 only one case was reported from Ahvaz and indeed this was the last case of urogenital schistosomiasis in Khuzestan and of course, in Iran. Prevalence from 1·064% between 1975 and 1980 slumped to 0% in 2012–2013. During several projects for surveillance of urogenital schistosomiasis, selective population chemotherapy, snail control, population education, environmental improvement, etc were carried out throughout the surveillance period. According to elimination of S. haematobium in Khuzestan province, the only endemic region of Iran, control of disease, especially the campaign with intermediate host snails should be continued. Iran can be a successful model for countries suffering from this disease.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Health Research Institute, Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. Tel: (+98 613)3367543-50. Fax: (+98 613) 3332036. E-mail: salmanidmd@yahoo.com
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Parasitology
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