The Centre de Recherche sur les Meningites et les Schistosomes (CERMES) is
a research institute depending on the Organisation de Coordination et de
Cooperation pour la lutte contre les Grandes Endemies - a West African
Organization for Public Health - devoted to the studies on schistosomiasis
and meningitis. The staff includes 32 persons with 11 scientists and one
financial officer. The activities of the CERMES involving schistosomiasis
concern three research units: (a) ecology of human and animal
schistosomiasis transmission; the CERMES defined the different patterns of
schistosomiasis transmission in Niger (involving African dry savana); in
this field, we have shown, (i) the existence of important variability in
conditions of transmission of S. haematobium and, (ii) natural
hybridization between parasitic species of the ruminants (S. bovis and S.
curassoni) and genetic interaction between human and animal parasites; (b)
definition of morbidity indicators usable for rapid assessment methods, for
appraisal of the severity of the disease and for the evaluation of the
efficiency of control methods; we have established the correlation between
ultrasonographic data and some cheap and simple field indicators; (c)
immune response and protective immunity induced by recombinant glutathion
S-transferase (Sm28, Sb28 and Sh28) in homologous and heterologous animal
models including goats, sheep and non human primates (Erythrocebus patas).
In Niger, we participate in all control programs against schistosomiasis to define control strategies, to supervise operations and to participate in their evaluation with external experts. International collaborations constitute a frame including four laboratories in Africa and six laboratories in developed countries (Europe and USA).