Prawn aquaculture as a method for schistosomiasis control and poverty alleviation: a win-win approach to address a critical infectious disease of poverty Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent evidence suggests crustacean snail predators may aid schistosomiasis control programs by targeting the environmental component of the parasite9s life cycle through predation of the snail species that serve as intermediate hosts of the parasite. We evaluate costs, benefits, and potential synergies between schistosomiasis control and aquaculture of giant prawns using an integrated bio-economic-epidemiologic model. We identified combinations of stocking density and aquaculture cycle length that maximize profit and offer disease control benefits for sustainable schistosomiasis control. We consider two prawn species in sub-Saharan Africa: the endemic, non-domesticated Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and the non-native, domesticated Macrobrachium rosenbergii. We find that, at profit-optimal densities, both M. rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii can complement conventional control approaches (mass drug treatment of people) and lead to sustainable schistosomiasis control. We conclude that integrated aquaculture strategies can be a win-win strategy in terms of health and sustainable development in schistosomiasis endemic regions of the world.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018