Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Control and elimination of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis relies on mass administration of praziquantel. Whilst these programmes reduce infection prevalence and intensity, their impact on parasite transmission and evolution is poorly understood. Here we examine the genomic impact of repeated mass drug administration on Schistosoma mansoni populations with documented reduced praziquantel efficacy. We sequenced whole-genomes of 198 S. mansoni larvae from 34 Ugandan children from regions with contrasting praziquantel exposure. Parasites infecting children from Lake Victoria, a transmission hotspot, form a diverse panmictic population. A single round of treatment did not reduce this diversity with no apparent population contraction caused by long-term praziquantel use. We find evidence of positive selection acting on members of gene families previously implicated in praziquantel action, but detect no high frequency functionally impactful variants. As efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis intensify, our study provides a foundation for genomic surveillance of this major human parasite.

Original publication





Nature communications

Publication Date





Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK.