Schistosomiasis elimination strategies and potential role of a vaccine in achieving global health goals.
In March 2013, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-sponsored a meeting entitled "Schistosomiasis Elimination Strategy and Potential Role of a Vaccine in Achieving Global Health Goals" to discuss the potential role of schistosomiasis vaccines and other tools in the context of schistosomiasis control and elimination strategies. It was concluded that although schistosomiasis elimination in some focal areas may be achievable through current mass drug administration programs, global control and elimination will face several significant scientific and operational challenges, and will require an integrated approach with other, additional interventions. These challenges include vector (snail) control; environmental modification; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and other future innovative tools such as vaccines.
Defining a clear product development plan that reflects a vaccine strategy as complementary to the existing control programs to combat different forms of schistosomiasis will be important to develop a vaccine effectively.