Various studies showed that chemotherapy can control schistosomiasis morbidity, but association of measures (water supply, sewage disposal and increase of socioeconomic conditions) is necessary for transmission control.
A survey dealing with socioeconomic conditions, snail survey, contact with natural waters, and clinical and stool examinations was undertaken at an endemic area in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The methodology used was the same for both evaluations (1981 and 2005). Four hundred and seventy-five out of 1,474 individuals studied in 1981 could be contacted. From these, 358 were submitted to stool examination, and 231 of them were clinically examined. Patients eliminating S. mansoni eggs in their stools were treated. The results showed that the prevalence rate in Comercinho, a municipality of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, was substantially reduced to 70.4% and 1.7% in 1981 and 2005, respectively, as well as the frequency of the hepatosplenic form (7% to 1.3%) after five treatments effectuated between 1981 and 1992. No other new case of this form was detected from 1981 onwards. Another important aspect to be considered was the improvement of people's living standard that occurred in the region after more than two decades' efforts (better housing, professional skill and adequate basic sanitation).
The control of morbidity and very significant decrease of schistosomiasis transmission in an area until then considered as hyperendemic was possible by means of association of successive specific treatments of the local population, together with the construction of privies, water supply in the houses and improvement of socioeconomic conditions.
A clinical-epidemiological reevaluation on schistosomiasis mansoni was performed in 2005, in the urban area of a little town, Comercinho, MG, specifically focusing on the inhabitants of the same area in 1981, when a first survey and treatment with oxamniquine were carried out. The surveys included: identification of the intermediary host, census, mapping of the city, socioeconomic survey, stool examination, clinical examination, research dealing with contact with natural waters, and treatment of the positive cases. From a population of 1,474 people studied in 1981, 358 were submitted to stool examination, and 231 were clinically examined. From 1981 to 1992 five specific treatments were performed with oxamniquine and the last one with praziquantel. The results obtained were compared and demonstrated that the prevalence in Comercinho decreased significantly (70.4% to 1.7%), as well as the hepatosplenic form (7% to 1.3%) in 1981 and 2005, respectively. Significant improvement in the life quality (improvement in the housing, professional qualification and basic sanitation) were observed and must be considered important for the schistosomiasis control.