Diagnosis of Schistosoma infection in nonhuman animal hosts: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Song Liang, Keerati Ponpetch, Yi Biao Zhou, Jiagang Guo, Berhanu Erko, J. Russell Stothard, M. Hassan Murad, Xiao Nong Zhou, Fadjar Satrija, Joanne P. Webster, Justin V. Remais, Jürg Utzinger, Amadou Garba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Reliable and field-applicable diagnosis of schistosome infections in non-human animals is important for surveillance, control, and verification of interruption of human schistosomiasis transmission. This study aimed to summarize uses of available diagnostic techniques through a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methodology and principal findings We systematically searched the literature and reports comparing two or more diagnostic tests in non-human animals for schistosome infection. Out of 4, 909 articles and reports screened, 19 met our inclusion criteria, four of which were considered in the meta-analysis. A total of 14 techniques (parasitologic, immunologic, and molecular) and nine types of nonhuman animals were involved in the studies. Notably, four studies compared parasitologic tests (miracidium hatching test (MHT), Kato-Katz (KK), the Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory technique (DBL), and formalin-ethyl acetate sedimentation-digestion (FEA-SD)) with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sensitivity estimates (using qPCR as the reference) were extracted and included in the meta-analyses, showing significant heterogeneity across studies and animal hosts. The pooled estimate of sensitivity was 0.21 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.03–0.48) with FEA-SD showing highest sensitivity (0.89, 95% CI: 0.65–1.00). Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that the parasitologic technique FEA-SD and the molecular technique qPCR, are the most promising techniques for schistosome diagnosis in non-human animal hosts. Future studies are needed for validation and standardization of the techniques for real-world field applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0010389
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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