Increased Vascularity in Cervicovaginal Mucosa with Schistosoma haematobium Infection
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Schistosomiasis is a fresh water parasite infection that affects millions of people, especially in Africa. Recent knowledge about the genital manifestations of schistosomiasis; especially its possible association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, has led to increased focus on this neglected tropical disease. Millions of women remain undiagnosed for genital schistosomiasis, and may suffer from abnormal mucosal blood vessels, contact bleeding and lesions named sandy patches. This study analyses a unique selection of female genital biopsies containing parasite eggs. Protein detection and standard histopathological assessment are combined to quantify and study the characteristics of the mucosal blood vessels surrounding the eggs. Our results show that the genital mucosa with parasite eggs is more vascularised compared to healthy tissue, and that viable eggs tend to be surrounded by proliferating blood vessels. These findings have not yet been correlated directly to clinical manifestations. Further studies are needed in order to provide clinical advice on the risks and consequences of mucosal lesions particular to female genital schistosomiasis.
Published version of an article from the journal:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Also available from the publisher: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001170 Open Access