Schistosomiasis historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [2]

Overview

Schistosomiasis is known as bilharzia or bilharziosis in many countries, after German physician Theodor Bilharz, who first described the cause of urinary schistosomiasis in 1851. The first doctor who described the entire disease cycle was Pirajá da Silva in 1908. It was a common cause of death for Ancient Egyptians in the Greco-Roman Period.

Historical Perspective

  • In 1847, Japanese Doctor Y. Fujii described “Katayama fever” as a manifestation of acute schistosomiasis.
  • 1851, Dr.Theodore Billharz, working in Egypt, identified the worms responsible for Schistosomiasis.[1]
  • 1904, S. japonicum was identified in a housecat.
  • In 1908, Dr Pirajá da Silva described the entire disease cycle for the first time.
  • 1915, the snail was identified as an intermediate host for Schistosomiasis.[2]

References

  1. Strickland GT (2006). "Liver disease in Egypt: hepatitis C superseded schistosomiasis as a result of iatrogenic and biological factors". Hepatology. 43 (5): 915–22. doi:10.1002/hep.21173. PMID 16628669.
  2. "Proceedings of the 13h Annual History of Medicine Days", a medical historical paper from University of Calgary. March 2004.

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