SchistoBreak - The Last Mile: Novel Tools and Strategies for Breaking Schistosomiasis Transmission

Background: Global elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem is set as target in the new World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Roadmap for 2030. Due to a long history of interventions, the Zanzibar islands of Tanzania have reached this goal since 2017. However, challenges occur on the last mile towards interruption of transmission. Our study will investigate new tools and strategies for breaking schistosomiasis transmission.

Methods: The study is designed as an intervention study, documented through repeated cross-sectional surveys. The primary endpoint will be the sensitivity of a surveillance-response approach to detect and react to outbreaks of urogenital schistosomiasis over three years of implementation (2021-2024). The surveys and multi-disciplinary interventions will be implemented in 20 communities in the north of Pemba island. In low-prevalence areas, surveillance-response will consist of active, passive and reactive case detection, treatment of positive individuals, and focal snail control. In hotspot areas, mass drug administration, snail control and behaviour change interventions will be implemented. Parasitological cross-sectional surveys in 20 communities and their main primary schools will serve to adapt the intervention approach annually and to monitor the performance of the surveillance-response approach and impact of interventions. Schistosoma haematobium infections will be diagnosed using reagent strips and urine filtration microscopy, and by exploring novel point-of-care diagnostic approaches.

Discussion: Our study will shed light on the field applicability and performance of novel adaptive intervention strategies, and standard and new diagnostic tools for schistosomiasis elimination. The evidence and experiences generated by micro-mapping of S. haematobium infections at community level, micro-targeting of adaptive intervention approaches, and application of novel diagnostic tools can guide strategic plans for schistosomiasis elimination in Zanzibar and inform other countries aiming for interruption of transmission.

Trial registration: ISRCTN, ISCRCTN91431493. Registered 11 February 2020,

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Selected projects at this location:

Involved Regions: Africa
Involved Countries: Tanzania, United Republic of

Trippler L, Hattendorf J, Ali S.M, Ame S.M, Juma S, Kabole F, Knopp S. Novel tools and strategies for breaking schistosomiasis transmission: study protocol for an intervention study. BMC Infect Dis. 2021;21:1024. DOI: 10.1186/s12879-021-06620-8

Trippler L, Ali M.N, Ame S.M, Ali S.M, Kabole F, Hattendorf J, Knopp S. GPS-based fine-scale mapping surveys for schistosomiasis assessment: a practical introduction and documentation of field implementation. Infect Dis Poverty. 2022;11:8. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-021-00928-y

Trippler L, Ali S.M, Ame S.M, Hattendorf J, Suleiman K.R, Ali M.N, Juma S, Kabole F, Knopp S. Fine-scale-mapping of Schistosoma haematobium infections at the school and community levels and intermediate host snail abundance in the north of Pemba Island: baseline cross-sectional survey findings before the onset of a 3-year intervention stu. Parasit Vectors. 2022;15:292. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-022-05404-6


Stefanie Knopp

Project Facts