Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Review

Lesson of the week: Subjective change in ejaculate as symptom of infection with Schistosoma haematobium in travellers

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 18 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1000
  1. Gordon McKenna, medical directora,
  2. Mona Schousboe, consultant microbiologistb,
  3. Graeme Paltridge, senior technologistb
  1. a Sexual Health Centre, Canterbury Health, Private Bag 4710, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. b Canterbury Health Laboratories, Canterbury Health
  1. Correspondence to: Dr G McKenna Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness IV2 3UJ
  • Accepted 19 May 1997


Several published papers have highlighted increased reporting of schistosomiasis in developed countries.1 2 3 Once considered a rare tropical disease, it has become an important differential diagnosis in those who have travelled in endemic areas and who have haematuria, haematospermia, or acute neurological symptoms; swimming in freshwater lakes in Africa is the principal risk factor.

Nineteen travellers returned to Christchurch, New Zealand, with schistosomiasis over three years.2 Seven of them were men who attended a sexual health clinic with changes in their ejaculate as their principal symptom. We report these cases in detail as the clustering of cases with this presenting symptom is unusual.

Case reports

The median age of the seven men was 27 years. Before diagnosis all had noted changes in their …

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