Schistosoma Hybridizations and Risk of Emerging Zoonosis in Africa: Time to Think of a One Health Approach for Sustainable Schistosomiasis Control and Elimination
Current control of human schistosomiasis in Africa is based on preventive chemotherapy, whereby populations are mass-treated with an anthelminthic medication, praziquantel. The World Health Organization has set a goal of eliminating schistosomiasis as a public health problem and, ultimately, eliminating transmission in all countries where schistosomiasis is endemic by 2030. However, recurrent hybridization between Schistosoma species is an emerging public health concern that has a major impact on the distribution of the disease and ultimately may derail elimination efforts. The One Health approach recognizes interconnections between the health of humans, animals and the environment, and encourages collaborative efforts toward the best outcomes. This chapter explains how the One Health approach can accelerate the control and elimination of schistosomiasis in Africa.