Volume 73, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Schistosomiasis continues to plague populations living in disease-endemic areas, and exposure to infective cercariae results in more than 200 million cases worldwide. Laboratory experiments were conducted to test whether a cercaricidal film applied directly to the water surface can reduce viability of cercariae. A distillate from inexpensive cedarwood oil enriched for cedrol in a mixed oil fraction was formulated (1:5) with the surfactant Tween 80. When applied to the surface of clean and turbid water in test vessels, the formulation spread across and just below the air-water interface, causing inactivation of cercariae within minutes. The active ingredient was heat stable and reduced schistosome survival and infectivity by 90% and 99.2%, respectively in a mouse model. The effective dose (13 μg/cm) was dependent on surface area rather than volume of water treated. We conclude that application of the biodegradable formulation to the surface of schistosome-infested waters may be an effective, economical, and safe means of reducing human infections.


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  • Received : 17 May 2005
  • Accepted : 21 Jul 2005

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