May 12, 2020; The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . https://dx.doi.org/10.4269%2Fajtmh.19-0788
Efforts to control Schistosoma mansoni infection depend on the ability of programs to effectively detect and quantify infection levels and adjust programmatic approaches based on these levels and program goals. One of the three major objectives of the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) has been to develop and/or evaluate tools that would assist Neglected Tropical Disease program managers in accomplishing this fundamental task. The advent of a widely available point-of-care (POC) assay to detect schistosome circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) in urine with a rapid diagnostic test (the POC-CCA) in 2008 led SCORE and others to conduct multiple evaluations of this assay, comparing it with the Kato–Katz (KK) stool microscopy assay—the standard used for more than 45 years. This article describes multiple SCORE-funded studies comparing the POC-CCA and KK assays, the pros and cons of these assays, the use of the POC-CCA assay for mapping of S. mansoni infections in areas across the spectrum of prevalence levels, and the validation and recognition that the POC-CCA, although not infallible, is a highly useful tool to detect low-intensity infections in low-to-moderate prevalence areas. Such an assay is critical, as control programs succeed in driving down prevalence and intensity and seek to either maintain control or move to elimination of transmission of S. mansoni.