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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 202223(4), 2255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23042255

Published: 18 February 2022


Schistosomiasis, caused by human trematode blood flukes (schistosomes), remains one of the most prevalent and serious of the neglected tropical parasitic diseases. Currently, treatment of schistosomiasis relies solely on a single drug, the anthelmintic praziquantel, and with increased usage in mass drug administration control programs for the disease, the specter of drug resistance developing is a constant threat. Vaccination is recognized as one of the most sustainable options for the control of any pathogen, but despite the discovery and reporting of numerous potentially promising schistosome vaccine antigens, to date, no schistosomiasis vaccine for human or animal deployment is available. This is despite the fact that Science ranked such an intervention as one of the top 10 vaccines that need to be urgently developed to improve public health globally. This review summarizes current progress of schistosomiasis vaccines under clinical development and advocates the urgent need for the establishment of a revolutionary and effective anti-schistosome vaccine pipeline utilizing cutting-edge technologies (including developing mRNA vaccines and exploiting CRISPR-based technologies) to provide novel insight into future vaccine discovery, design, manufacture and deployment.

Keywords: schistosomiasis; clinical vaccine development; mRNA vaccine