or Asiatic intestinal schistosomiasis, caused by the S. japonicum group of
parasites (including S. mekongi in the Mekong river basin), is endemic in 7
countries in South-East Asia and in the Western Pacific region, but eradicated from Japan
in 1976. Another form of intestinal schistosomiasis caused by S. intercalatum has
been reported from 10 central African countries. Urinary schistosomiasis, caused by S.
haematobium, is endemic in 54 countries in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Over
200 million people worldwide suffer from schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection which if
not controlled can cause the development of liver and urinary tract disease and cancer of
the bladder. Over 20 million people are serious chronic cases, most of them living in
African countries where the disease is endemic.