Evaluating the potential for evolution and establishment of (AMaR) drug resistance within zoonotic schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Joanne Webster (primary)
Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Royal Veterinary College
Dr Martin Walker (secondary)
Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Royal Veterinary College


Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease which exerts a significant burden on humans and their animals, particularly the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only available drug against schistosomiasis making the threat of resistance a particularly pertinent and worrying issue. By combining field sampling, diagnostic assays, molecular analysis and mathematical modelling, we aim to evaluate the likely impact of test-and-treat interventions on the population dynamics of livestock schistosomiasis. These findings will inform how best to control livestock schistosomiasis—while minimizing the risk of PZQ resistance developing—and how to prevent the further spread of hybrid schistosomes.


Gower, C.M., Vince, L. & Webster, J.P. (2017). Should we be treating animal schistosomiasis in Africa? The need for a One-Health economic evaluation of schistosomiasis burden and control in sub-Saharan Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 111: 244-257. DOI:10.1093/trstmh/trx047

Webster, J.P., Borlase, A.M. & Rudge, J.W. (2017). Who acquires infection from whom and how? – disentangling multi-host and multi-mode transmission dynamics in the ‘elimination’ era. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London Series B (Biological Sciences). 372 (1719) 20160091; doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0091 IF 7.06

Crellen, T., Walker, M., Lamberton, P.H.L., Kabetereine, N.B., Tukahebwa, E.J., Cotton, J.A. & Webster, J.P. (2016). Reduced efficacy of praziquantel against Schistosoma mansoni associated with multiple-rounds of mass drug administration. Clinical Infectious Diseases. doi:10.1093/cid/ciw506 IF 9.12

Léger, E. Garba, A., Hamidou, A.A., Webster, B.L., Pennance, T., Rollinson, D. & Webster, J.P. (2016). Introgressed animal schistosomes Schistosoma curassoni and S. bovis naturally infecting humans. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 22 (12) 2212-2214 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2212.160644 IF 8.22

Rudge, J.W., Webster, J.P., Lu, D-B., Wang, T-P., Fang, G-R., Basanez, M-G. (2013). Identifying host species driving transmission of schistosomiasis japonica, a multi-host parasite system, in China. PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110. 11457-11462. (Direct submission). PMC3710859 IF 9.809

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling