1 Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 2010 Vol: 105(4):. DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02762010000400012

Acute schistosomiasis mansoni: revisited and reconsidered

Acute schistosomiasis is a systemic hypersensitivity reaction against the migrating schistosomula and eggs. A variety of clinical manifestations appear during the migration of schistosomes in humans: cercarial dermatitis, fever, pneumonia, diarrhoea, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, skin lesions, liver abscesses, brain tumours and myeloradiculopathy. Hypereosinophilia is common and aids diagnosis. The disease has been overlooked, misdiagnosed, underestimated and underreported in endemic areas, but risk groups are well known, including military recruits, some religious congregations, rural tourists and people practicing recreational water sports. Serology may help in diagnosis, but the finding of necrotic-exudative granulomata in a liver biopsy specimen is pathognomonic. Differentials include malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, kala-azar, prolonged Salmonella bacteraemia, lymphoma, toxocariasis, liver abscesses and fever of undetermined origin. For symptomatic hospitalised patients, treatment with steroids and schistosomicides is recommended. Treatment is curative in those timely diagnosed.

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