Background Recent research suggests that schistosomiasis targets for morbidity control and elimination as a public health problem could benefit from a reanalysis. These analyses would define evidence-based targets that control programs could use to confidently assert that they had controlled or eliminated schistosomiasis as a public health problem. We estimated how low Schistosoma haematobium infection levels diagnosed by urine filtration in school-age children should be decreased so that microhematuria prevalence was at, or below, a “back-ground” level of morbidity. Methodology Data obtained from school-age children in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, and Zambia who participated in schistosomiasis monitoring and evaluation cohorts were reanalyzed before and after initiation of preventive chemotherapy. Bayesian models estimated the infection level prevalence probabilities associated with microhematuria thresholds ≤10%, 13%, or 15%. Principal findings An infection prevalence of 5% could be a sensible target for urogenital schistosomiasis morbidity control in children as microhematuria prevalence was highly likely to be below 10% in all surveys. Targets of 8% and 11% infection prevalence were highly likely to result in micro-hematuria levels less than 13% and 15%, respectively. By contrast, measuring heavy-intensity infections only achieves these thresholds at impractically low prevalence levels. Conclusions/significance A target of 5%, 8%, or 11% urogenital schistosomiasis infection prevalence in school-age children could be used to determine whether a geographic area has controlled or eliminated schistosomiasis as a public health problem depending on the local background threshold of microhematuria.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (now the SCI Foundation) was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (grant 13122). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2021, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved.