Transmission of Schistosomiasis Essay

Transmission of Schistosomiasis Essay

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Transmission of Schistosomiasis - mediated by chemical communication

Living organisms use a variety of cues to find their prey, to mate, to move and to hide from their predator. These cues can be visual, auditory or olfactory. Olfactory cues often require a release of chemical from a source towards which an organism could be attracted to or be repelled from. From single celled bacteria to large chordates like sharks use chemical communication for different purposes. However, the most prevalent role of chemical communication is disease transmission. Various insects, bacteria and nematodes rely on their sense of smell to find their host. Chemicals emitted by the host direct these organisms towards the host. Often times, these organisms become parasitic and cause diseases in the host. Chagus disease, Malaria, Dengue, and skin infections are some of the most common diseases associated with chemosensory behaviors (Vinauger, 2014). Schistosomiasis, mediated by the chemosensory behavior of Schistosoma (trematode), is another acute and chronic disease. The parasite exploits the neuroendocrine hormones and nutrients produced by the host for its growth, development and maturation. (Zhou et al, 2009). Nearly 42 million people were reported to have been treated by the disease in 2012.(WHO)
Schistosomiasis can be caused by different species of Schistosoma - S. mansoni, S.japonicum, S. mekongi, S. guineensis, S. intercalatum, S. haematobium. The disease is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water. There are two major forms of the disease - Intestinal and urogenital. Most cases have been reported in rural and underdeveloped populations as they don’t have access to clean water and sanitation is usually poor in these regions,...


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...versity of Washington, Seattle.
WHO Media Center.(2014). Schistosomiasis. World Health Organization, Fact Sheet 115.
Wilkinson, PC. (1985). Random locomotion, chemotaxis and chemokinesis. Immuology Today, 6(9): 273-278.
Wilson, RA. (1968). An investigation into the mucus produced by Lymnaea truncatula, the snail host of Fasciola hepatica. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 24(2): 629-633.
Zhou et al. (2009). The Schistosoma japonicum genome reveals features of host-parasite interplay. Nature, 460: 345-351.

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