Detection of cytological abnormalities in urothelial cells from individuals previously exposed or currently infected with Schistosoma haematobium

Cecilia Smith-Togobo*, Richard Mprah, Evans Adamu Yeboah, Harry Koku Anyidoho, Dzifa Asigbe, John Kwame Afernorfe, Felix Ayroe, Kwabena Obeng Duedu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Urinary schistosomiasis has long been associated with bladder cancer, but it is still not clear the mechanisms involved. Schistosoma haematobium causes injury and disruptions in the integrity of the urothelium. The cellular and immunologic responses to the infection lead to the formation of granulomata. The ability to use cellular morphological changes to predict the risk of developing bladder cancer following S. haematobium infection is thus important. This study assessed the cellular changes in the urine associated with schistosomiasis and the potential of routine urine being used as a risk predictor of the development of bladder cancer. Urine samples (160) were screened for the presence of S. haematobium ova. Smears stained with the Papanicolaou method were evaluated using light microscopy to determine the cell populations. A high prevalence (39.9%) of urinary schistosomiasis and haematuria (46.9%) was found among the participants. Polymorphonuclear cells, normal and reactive urothelial cells and lymphocytes were characteristic of S. haematobium infection. Squamous metaplastic cells (SMCs) were found in 48% and 47.1% of participants who have had past or current S. haematobium infection respectively, but were not found in participants who had no exposure to S. haematobium. These squamous metaplastic cells are in transition and are prone to malignant transformation when exposed to a carcinogenic agent. There is still a high burden of schistosomiasis in endemic communities in Ghana. by examining urine, one can find metaplastic cells and? dysplastic cells and thus predict cancer in SH-infested patients. Thus, routine urine cytology as a tool to monitor the risk of bladder cancer development is recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0278202
    Pages (from-to)e0278202
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume18
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - Mar 2023

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