Published: 02/12/2024

Schistosomiasis impacts an enormous amount of people around the globe, with estimates ranging from 150 to more than 200 million. Climate and land use changes may make conditions more favorable for the snail that spreads the devastating parasite in some locations. A Stanford research team led by Global Health Faculty Fellow Dr. Nathan Lo aims to reduce the number of global infections by contributing to global efforts by the World Health Organization and national governments in endemic areas to curb the disease.

A new publication by the team in PNAS showcases their efforts to build statistical prediction models that can identify hotspots for targeted surveillance drug treatments. Such predictive tools can help communities impacted by schistosomiasis stay ahead, especially in the face of climate change that has the potential to impact schistosomiasis.

“From my time working with WHO, I realized that identifying hotspots is a key barrier to reducing the disease burden globally. It’s a challenging problem, but it’s important to work on because this is where we’ll make the most progress,” Lo told Stanford Medicine in a recent article.

Read more in this Stanford Medicine Story.

Photo credit: An image of Biomphalaria glabrata, which spreads the parasite that causes schistosomiasis. Photo by the University of Oregon, via Flickr.