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Presentation date

Summer 8-10-2023

College, Institute, or Department

College of Public Health

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Joseph Fauver

Research Mentor

Dr. Joseph Fauver


Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is a Neglected Tropical Disease caused by parasitic helminths that affects over 240 million people around the world. Praziquantel has been used to treat individuals infected with schistosomiasis through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programs but a recent reduction in its efficacy has been observed, creating concern that the parasite will evolve to become resistant to the chemotherapy drug. Monitoring changes in the population structure of Schistosoma haematobium using microsatellite markers can be a useful metric to determine praziquantel efficacy since variations in the repeat sequences of microsatellites indicate genetic diversity. Since little is known about the population structure of S. haematobium–despite urogenital schistosomiasis being a pressing issue in Ethiopia–18 microsatellite multiplex assays developed in a prior study were tested on stock DNA to validate them for use to study the effects of praziquantel on parasitic S. haematobium in Ethiopia. Through a combination of bioinformatic analysis, PCR, and Next Generation Sequencing on the MinION, 13 of the 18 microsatellite markers were validated, highlighting the importance of developing microsatellite multiplex assays not only based on length distribution, but also based on Next Generation Sequencing data.


Schistosomiasis, Schistosoma haematobium, Microsatellites, Population Structure, Next Generation Sequencing

Determining Schistosoma haematobium Population Structures in Ethiopia