Urinary Schistosomiasis in an Adolescent Refugee from Africa: An Uncommon Cause of Hematuria and an Emerging Infectious Disease in Europe


We report a case of urinary schistosomiasis in an adolescent refugee from Gambia (arrived to Italy illegally), who was brought to the Emergency Department of our hospital. The patient complained of gross hematuria and, in the absence of clinical evidence of bacterial urinary infection, was admitted to the pediatric ward, considering his provenience and social setting. An appropriate collection and microscopic analysis of urine samples led to the detection of bilharzia. Much attention should be paid to this emerging disease in Europe by physicians in order to recognize and treat it timely, which could prevent future and higher costs for public health systems and could reduce the potential risk of environmental spreading. In fact, there are some areas in Italy where the parasite can find its intermediate host to complete its lifecycle.

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Author contribution

Conceived and drafted the paper: DP; Contributed to clinical management and diagnosis work-up: DP, LC; Contributed to laboratory analysis: GP, AG, MB; Provided intellectual contribution: PB, SS, DP.

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Correspondence to Dimitri Poddighe.

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Poddighe, D., Castelli, L., Pulcrano, G. et al. Urinary Schistosomiasis in an Adolescent Refugee from Africa: An Uncommon Cause of Hematuria and an Emerging Infectious Disease in Europe. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 1237–1240 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0272-3

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  • Hematuria
  • Urinary schistosomiasis
  • Imported disease