Carvalho, Omar dos Santos; Grault, Carlos Eduardo; Machado, Marcelo Pelajo; Pieri, Otavio; Vicente, Ana Carolina Paulo & Cupolillo, Elisa
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects at least 240 million people worldwide. The infection is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical areas and particularly in communities without adequate sanitation. It is estimated that more than 200,000 deaths are caused by schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa each year. The vectors and associated parasites, which include Biomphalaria/Schistosoma mansoni; Bulinus/S. haematobium/S. intercalatum; Oncomelania/S. japonicum; Tricula/S. mekongi, are the major components considered for the prevention, control and treatment of this vector-borne disease. Additional efforts involve the improvement of water quality and sanitary systems. This schistosomiasis-specific issue of Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz consists of 16 articles written by 87 leading scientists from 28 national and international institutions, with an emphasis on recent advances in immunopathology, biochemistry, molecular biology, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, malacology and control of this parasitic disease. The great majority of papers published herein were communications or topic addressed at the 12th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis, held in October 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and organized by the Integrated Schistosomiasis Program of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (PIDE/Fiocruz). The present schistosomiasis-specific issue is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Henrique Leonel Lenzi MD, PhD (26 Jun 1943-15 Sep 2011), who made outstanding contributions to PIDE/Fiocruz.