Group | Helminths and Health

Helminth infections are a group of neglected tropical diseases with a high impact on human health. The aim of this research group is to understand the diversity of parasitic helminths, their epidemiology and their impact on health at individual and population levels and to design and evaluate adequate control strategies. The group has developed a special interest and expertise in helminthiases of Southeast Asian, East-Africa and Siberia (Russian Federation).

Helminth Infections in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia with Laos and Cambodia is of particular interest due to its unique socio-cultural and eco-epidemiological environment in the Mekong sub-region. Mekong schistosomiasis (Schistosoma mekongi), liver fluke (Opisthorchis viverrini), threadworm (Strongyloides stercoralis) and co-infections with soil-transmitted helminths are highly prevalent and lead frequently to polyparasitism and to liver and intestinal morbidity. With a collaborative research approach we assess the contribution of helminth infections to overall infection and morbidity burden.

Peter Odermatt

Peter Odermatt, Prof. Dr., PhD, MPH

Schisosomiasis on Zanzibar

On the Zanzibar islands (Unguja and Pemba) belonging to the United Republic of Tanzania in East Africa, our research focuses on transdisciplinary intervention approaches that can contribute to the interruption of urogenital schistosomiasis transmission on Zanzibar. In addition preventive chemotherapy, we explore the impact of snail control and novel behavior change approaches. We also collaborate with other international institutions on the development and evaluation of new diagnostic tests for urogenital schistosomiasis. Project Link

Liver Fluke in Siberia

In rural Siberia, Russian Federation, the liver fluke (Opisthorchis felineus) has been neglected for several decades. We contribute to the clarification of the epidemiology and infection and morbidity burden in Siberia, Russian Federation.

Barda B et al. Evaluation of two DNA extraction methods on the detection of Strongyloides stercoralis infection. J Clin Microbiol. 2018;56(4):e01941-17. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01941-17

Bürli C, Harbrecht H, Odermatt P, Sayasone S, Chitnis N. Mathematical analysis of the transmission dynamics of the liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. J Theor Biol. 2018;439:181-194. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.11.020

Forrer A et al. Strongyloides stercoralis and hookworm co-infection: spatial distribution and determinants in Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. Parasit Vectors. 2018;11:33. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-017-2604-8

Htun N.S.N et al. Association between gastrointestinal tract infections and glycated hemoglobin in school children of poor neighborhoods in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018;12(3):e0006332. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006332

Khieu V et al. How elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in the Kingdom of Cambodia was achieved. Infect Dis Poverty. 2018;7:15. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-018-0394-7