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National Serologic Survey of Haematobium Schistosomiasis in Morocco: Evidence for Elimination

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  • Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Hygiene, Rabat, Morocco; Direction of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases, Rabat, Morocco; Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Biology, University of Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco

The Moroccan Health Ministry launched a Process of Eliminating Schistosomiasis in 1994. During 2005–2009, the epidemiologic status showed a clear interruption of disease transmission at the national level; only a few residual cases were recorded. Our present study is the first systematic serologic survey to evaluate the transmission status in remaining disease-endemic foci. A study population of 2,382 children born after the date of the last autochthonous cases were selected from provinces with histories of high schistosomiasis transmission (Tata, Chtouka Ait Baha, Errachidia, El Kelaa Des Sraghna, and Beni Mellal). To identify the presence of disease, specific antibodies directed against Schistosoma haematobium adult worm microsomal antigens were detected by using an enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay. The results showed an absence of antibodies in all serum samples. Consequently, our findings confirm either a low transmission status or an interruption of schistosomiasis transmission within the last disease endemic foci.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Mohamed Rhajaoui, Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Hygiene, Avenue Ibn Battouta, Rabat, Morocco. E-mail: rhajaouimed@yahoo.fr

Financial support: This study was supported by the World Health Organization (Reference no. 2 008/237-0).

Authors' addresses: Mohamed Rhajaoui, Fatima Amarir, Bouchra El Mansouri, Hajiba Fellah, Faiza Sebti, and Lakranbi Mohammed, Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Hygiene, Avenue Ibn Battouta, Rabat, Morocco, E-mails: rhajaouimed@yahoo.fr, fatima_inh@yahoo.fr, mansouri.inh@hotmail.com, hajibafel@yahoo.fr, sfaiza3@yahoo.fr, and lakranbi@gmail.com. Sukwan Handali and Patricia Wilkins, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: ahi0@cdc.gov and pma1@cdc.gov. Abderrahman Laamrani El Idrissi, Direction of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases, Rabat, Morocco, E-mail: laamrani55@gmail.com. Abderrahim Sadak, Department of Biology, University of Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco, E-mail: sadakabderrahim@yahoo.fr.

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