Gynecological Manifestations, Histopathological Findings, and Schistosoma-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction Results Among Women With Schistosoma haematobium Infection: A Cross-sectional Study in Madagascar

Randrianasolo BS, Jourdan PM, Ravoniarimbinina P, Ramarokoto CE, Rakotomanana F, Ravaoalimalala VE, Gundersen SG, Feldmeier H, Vennervald BJ, van Lieshout L, Roald B, Leutscher P, Kjetland EF

Journal title: The Journal of infectious diseases

J. Infect. Dis. 2015 Feb;

PMID: 25725656

Article on PubMed:


BACKGROUND:  The pathophysiology of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is only partially understood. This study aims to describe the histopathological findings, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results, and gynecological manifestations of FGS in women with different intensities of Schistosoma haematobium infection.

METHODS:  Women aged 15-35 years living in an S. haematobium-endemic area in Madagascar underwent pelvic and colposcopic examinations. Small biopsy specimens were obtained from lesions and examined histopathologically. Schistosoma PCR was done on urine, biopsy, cervicovaginal lavage, and genital mucosal surface specimens.

RESULTS:  Sandy patches and rubbery papules were found in 41 of 118 women (35%). Rubbery papules reflected an intense cellular immune reaction dominated by eosinophils, epithelial erosion, and viable ova. There was a significant decrease in the prevalence of rubbery papules with age, even after adjustment for urinary ova excretion. The sandy patches with grains showed moderate cellular immune reaction and ova (viable and/or calcified). They were most prevalent in cases with low-intensity urinary S. haematobium infection. Forty-two percent of women with Schistosoma-negative urine specimens had at least 1 genital specimen test positive for Schistosoma by PCR.

CONCLUSIONS:  The results indicate a diversity of lesions caused by S. haematobium and a dynamic evolution of the genital lesions. Schistosoma PCR may give an indication of the diagnosis.