S. japonicum environmental monitoring
Over the course of several years and visits to Sichuan Province in China (2016-2018), I collaborated with colleagues at the Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other researchers at UC-Berkeley on an improved field method for Schistosoma japonicum environmental detection. Specifically, we were looking for an adaptable approach to collect cercariae in irrigation ditches in the countryside. Because cercarial presence in this environment (a hilly, mountainous part of China, where significant control efforts haved reduced parasite prevalence to very low levels) is ephemeral, we needed a method to collect and filter large quantities of water. We designed a system workflow of modular weirs and a qPCR method for processing the dirty filters that has had a successful pilot test in the field. A publication summarizing this work is forthcoming in 2019.