The purpose of the study was to describe symptoms and diagnosis of schistosomiasis in travellers and immigrants based on patients diagnosed and treated at the State University Hospital in Copenhagen in 2003-2008.
Retrospective review of patient records.
A total of 49 patients (39 travellers and ten immigrants) were diagnosed with schistosomiasis. All patients except one were infected in Africa. There was considerable variation in clinical manifestations between travellers and immigrants. Eggs were detected in urine, faeces and/or biopsy from 18 patients, whereas 31 patients were diagnosed solely by serology.
Travellers with schistosomiasis are often asymptomatic or have unspecific symptoms, while immigrants may present with severe complications to the infection. Because symptoms can develop years after the infection and due to the risk of severe complications, even asymptomatic patients should be treated. Treatment is simple and has few side effects.