Fishing for the African river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, in Senegal.(************* )( Credit: bioGraphic)


African river
prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, is a big commercially essential freshwater prawn that resides on the west coast of Africa. This threatened types is predatory with a specific fondness for the snails that are intermediate hosts for the parasitic flatworms, Schistosoma types. These parasitic worms can live for as long as 30 years inside capillary of contaminated individuals. Infection with these tiny parasites triggers schistosomiasis, a chronically progressive illness that usually eliminates its human hosts, either by triggering bladder cancer or liver failure or by increasing the danger of HELP.

By the end of (****************************************************************************** ), more than 250 million individuals were understood to be contaminated with schistosoma around the world and more than800 million are at danger ( ref). Presently, the international schistosoma infection rate competitors that of malaria, another, more familiar, parasite.

(** )(* )These alarming human health repercussions influenced the advancement of a range of engineering,

chemical and pharmaceutical interventions over the last(******************************************************************************************** )years to disrupt this parasite’s life process at each phase and to avoid individuals from entering contact with them( Figure 1;(******************* )ref ). (** )(******************** )(**** )(********************* )

1. Control methods utilized versus schistosomiasis throughout
the previous century.(*********************** )
( Credit: Susanne Sokolow & Chelsea Wood et al./ doi:101371/ journal.pntd.0004794)

Susanne Sokolow & Chelsea Wood et al., by means of an Imaginative Commons license

In1982, a recently established drug, praziquantel, was discovered to be inexpensive and incredibly efficient at dealing with schistosomiasis, so health specialists were confident that they may lastly remove this consistent parasite. However praziquantel’s results are not lasting so when individuals residing in hardship entered into the river the next day, they were as soon as again reinfected. Years later on, schistosomiasis is still here.

Praziquantel is an anti-worm medication that avoids recently hatched worm larvae from growing or increasing in the body.
( Credit: bioGraphic)


There’s a continuous cycle of treatment and re-exposure and reinfection that we’re not fixing with drugs alone,” stated illness ecologist and vet Susanne Sokolow, an Elder Research Study Partner at Stanford University” So we are attempting to believe more artistically, believe more systemically about the ecology itself and how that can notify methods to really make a damage in the international concern of schistosomiasis.”

Snails, dams, and prawns(*********************** )

Beginning in the1950 s, numerous substantial building and construction jobs were released all over the world. These consisted of dams and watering programs that resulted in a substantial increase in water-borne infections, especially schistosomiasis, which is endemic to tropical and subtropical areas. Although correct safety measures had actually currently been found that might have lessened infections, they were not executed since the designers of these jobs were uninformed of them at the time.


Dams on the Senegal river supported the growth

of farming– and produced an epidemic of schistosomiasis.
( Credit:(************** )bioGraphic .)


Dams were frequently built in series along the length of specific rivers

, significantly jeopardizing the

stability of the river’s ecology and biodiversity. A series of dams triggered the populations of the (*********** )Macrobrachium prawns to crash since the women are migratory– adult women occasionally stroll downstream to generate in brackish water, most likely numerous times throughout their lives, and stroll back upstream to freshwater where they feed. The resulting collapse in the varieties of African river prawns in dammed rivers where they were traditionally present was accompanied by a huge epidemic of schistosomiasis in the neighborhoods living near these rivers.

Research study has actually shown that African river prawns can be utilized as an environmentally friendly biological control
to minimize the rates of schistosomiasis among individuals living near rivers since the prawns particularly prey upon schistosoma’s snail intermediary. To show, Dr. Sokolow and her partners brought back African river prawns upstream of the Diama Dam on the Senegal River, and discovered this minimized both the snail density and the human schistosomiasis reinfection rate( (******************************* )ref ).

(**** )

The Senegal River is house to

the African river prawns, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, which are starved predators of the snails

that are intermediate hosts for schistosoma parasites.
(Credit: bioGraphic(*************** ).)(** ) bioGraphic

Dr. Sokolow and her coworkers likewise discovered that restocking captive-bred and raised African river prawns to their native house in the Senegal river, integrated

with Praziquantel treatment, might possibly get rid of the schistosoma parasite

in your area within 5 years( ref).

Schistosomiasis can not be captured from consuming the prawns, so it is a method that has financial along with health advantages. Even more, these predatory prawns are at their most starved when they are young( and little), so gathering the dinner-plate

sized grownups would not affect the snail-reduction program.(** )(* )” In this specific case, it ends up that harvest and illness control are a win-win,” Dr. Sokolow stated. “You can get both at the exact same time.”

This preservation method is a win for the regional environment, too, since it assists bring back a food

web that supports lots of other types in addition to people.(** )(********************************** )