Putting the treatment of paediatric schistosomiasis into context

Takafira Mduluza, Francisca Mutapi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite increased international efforts to control schistosomiasis using preventive chemotherapy, several challenges still exist in reaching the target populations. Until recently, preschool-aged children had been excluded from the recommended target population for mass drug administration, i.e. primary school children aged 6-15 years. Our studies and those of others provided the evidence base for the need to treat preschool-aged children that led to recommendations by the World Health Organization to include preschool-aged children in treatment programmes in 2010. The major challenge now lies in the unavailability of a child-size formulation of the appropriate anthelmintic drug, praziquantel.The currently available formulation of praziquantel presents several problems. First, it is a large tablet, making it difficult for young children and infants to swallow it and thus requires its breaking/crushing to allow for safe uptake. Second, it is bitter so it is often mixed with a sweetener to make it palatable for young children. Third, the current formulation of 600 mg does not allow for flexible dose adjustments for this age group. Thus, there is a need to formulate a child-appropriate praziquantel tablet.This paper discusses the target product profile for paediatric praziquantel, as well as knowledge gaps pertinent to the successful control of schistosome infection and disease in preschool-aged children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85
Number of pages1
JournalInfectious diseases of poverty
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2017


  • Child-size medicine
  • Drug pipeline
  • Paediatric schistosomiasis
  • Praziquantel
  • Target product profile


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