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An update on female and male genital schistosomiasis and a call to integrate efforts to escalate diagnosis, treatment and awareness in endemic and non-endemic settings: The time is now


The last decades have brought important insight and updates in the diagnosis, management and immunopathology of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) and male genital schistosomiasis (MGS). Despite sharing a common parasitic aetiological agent, FGS and MGS have typically been studied separately. Infection with Schistosoma haematobium manifests with gender-specific clinical manifestations and consequences of infection, albeit having a similar pathogenesis within the human genital tract. Schistosoma haematobium is a known urinary bladder carcinogen, but its potential causative role in other types of neoplasia, such as cervical cancer, is not fully understood. Furthermore, the impact of praziquantel treatment on clinical outcomes remains largely underexplored, as is the interplay of FGS/MGS with relevant reproductive tract infections such as HIV and Human Papillomavirus. In non-endemic settings, travel and immigrant health clinics need better guidance to correctly identify and treat FGS and MGS. Our review outlines the latest advances and remaining knowledge gaps in FGS and MGS research. We aim to pave a way forward to formulate more effective control measures and discuss elimination targets. With a growing community awareness in health practitioners, scientists and epidemiologists, alongside the sufferers from these diseases, we aspire to witness a new generation of young women and men free from the downstream disabling manifestations of disease.

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