Staff exchange

PhD and Masters students @ BRIGHT and staff may visit the institutions in the network. This is a way to receive both informal and formal training, participate in meetings, share knowledge, learn high-tech laboratory techniques and how to do fieldwork in the remotest of... read more

Preparing a project

Professor Costas Balas (Technical University of Chania in Greece/skype) meets with Santiago Martinez, Svein Gunnar Gundersen, Eyrun Kjetland and Martin Gerdes in a thrust to disseminate the WHO Pocket Atlas for Female Genital Schistosomiasis to the whole of Africa. The professors came from University of KwaZulu-Natal, Oslo University Hospital, and University of Agder to meet @BRIGHT... read more

Critical PhD

Dr Hashini Galappaththi-Arachchige defended her doctoral thesis where she explored the accuracy of different diagnostic tools. She found that we must find other methods to identify Female Genital Schistosomiasis. She described how river water contact is associated with genital symptoms in adolescent girls and young women in rural South Africa. ## Dean of University of Oslo Professor Borghild Roald leads the prossession, followed by Prof Charles King (Case Western University, United States), Prof Kyllike Christensen (Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden), Professor Annetine Staff (University of Oslo, Norway) and PhD Candidate Hashini Nilushika Galappaththi-Arachchige (Medical doctor, PhD) Sri Lanka/Norway/South... read more
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Detection of Schistosoma DNA in genital specimens and urine: A comparison between five female African study populations originating from S. haematobium and/or S. mansoni endemic areas.

Pillay P, Downs JA, Changalucha JM, Brienen EAT, Ramarokoto CE, Leutscher PDC, Vennervald BJ, Taylor M, Kjetland EF, Van Lieshout L. Acta Trop. 2020;204:105363.

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Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) is a neglected disease affecting millions, however challenging to diagnose. This explorative descriptive study compares Schistosoma real-time PCR analysis of cervico-vaginal lavages (CVL) with corresponding urine and stool samples of 933 women from five different previously described study populations. Sampling included 310 women from an S. mansoni endemic region in Mwanza, Tanzania and 112 women from a nearby S. haematobium endemic region. Findings were compared with samples collected from S. haematobium endemic regions in South Africa from 394 women and from 117 women from Madagascar of which 79 were urine pre-selected microscopy positive cases from highly-endemic communities and 38 were urine microscopy negatives from a low-endemic community.

As anticipated, urine and stool microscopy and gynecological investigations varied substantially between study populations; however, the same Schistosoma real-time PCR was performed in one reference laboratory. Schistosoma DNA was detected in 13% (120/933) of the CVL, ranging from 3% in the S. mansoni Tanzanian endemic region to 61% in the pre-selected Malagasy urine microscopy positive cases. Detectable Schistosoma DNA in CVL was associated with Schistosoma DNA in urine but not with microscopic detection of eggs in urine or by cytological examination.

This study confirmed real-time PCR for the detection of Schistosoma DNA in gynecological samples to be a valuable diagnostic tool to study the distribution of FGS within schistosomiasis endemic areas.