Urogenital schistosomiasis is a chronic infection caused by the human blood fluke
Schistosoma haematobium. Schistosomiasis haematobium is a known risk factor for cancer leading
to squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCC). This is a neglected tropical disease
endemic in many countries of Africa and the Middle East.
Schistosome eggs produce catechol-estrogens. These molecules are metabolized to active quinones
that cause alterations in DNA (leading in other contexts to breast or thyroid cancer). Our group have
shown that schistosome egg associated catechol estrogens induce tumor-like phenotypes in urothelial
cells, originated from parasite estrogen-host cell chromosomal DNA adducts and mutations.
Here we review recent findings on the role of estrogen–DNA adducts and how their shedding in
urine may be prognostic of schistosome infection and/or represent potential biomarkers for urogenital
schistosomiasis associated bladder cancer and infertility.