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Field testing

The Kato-Katz technique has been the most common way to diagnose one type of schistosomiasis – it is cheap and only requires microscope skills and equipment. Scientists filter poo samples through a sieve and measure an exact amount onto a slide. They then count the number of Schistosoma eggs per gram of poo to diagnose schistosomiasis.

Material needed for Kato-Katz technique, Poppy Lamberton’s Lab, University of Glasgow, 2019


This urine test is more accurate than the Kato-Katz technique. It does not require specialised skills, but is significantly more expensive – £1.20 compared to a few pence. This positive test was used in 2019 as part of a research project in Uganda.

Circulating Cathodic Antigen (CCA) test, Poppy Lamberton’s Lab, University of Glasgow, 2019

Diagnosing schistosomiasis as part of Franisca Mutapi's work in Zimbabwe.  

Scientists battling the disease

Without treatment, schistosomiasis can lead to serious health problems. As part of a research project, Poppy Lamberton from the University of Glasgow wants to know why cases of schistosomiasis are high in an area of Uganda where preventative medicine is being used. Poppy and her team test for schistosomiasis in schools by asking students to bring in samples of their poo for three days in a row. They test the samples for Schistosoma eggs, a sign of schistosomiasis.

[Image - Poppy Lamberton - University of Glasgow)


The dosage pole is used to calculate the correct dosage of Paziquantel, a drug used to treat schistosomiasis. 

Ancient discoveries

Scientists have discovered evidence of schistosomiasis in human remains from ancient Egypt. Schistosomiasis can be caught anywhere that infected water snails live. 

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