Suzan Trienekens

Suzan Trienekens

Room 314
Graham Kerr Building

Research Title

Understanding Schistosoma mansoni reinfection in school-aged children in rural Uganda: Who is infecting whom, where and how?

Research Summary

My work focusses on prevention of infectious disease transmission in vulnerable groups through mixed qualitative and quantitative methods research and health promotion.

PhD project summary
Over 240 million people are infected with schistosomiasis. It causes severe long-term morbidity and exacerbates the poverty cycle. Schistosoma mansoni miracidia hatch in freshwater from eggs in human stool, they reproduce asexually in snails, and produce cercariae that infect humans when they contact infested water through activities such as washing clothes, playing etc. The World Health Organization recommends >75% of school-aged children (SAC) receive mass drug administration (MDA) to prevent morbidity. Despite a decade of school-based MDA in Uganda, children are rapidly (re)infected and schistosomiasis hotspots remain. This interdisciplinary PhD focuses on three main objectives to address: How can we reduce (re)infection in these children?

Objective 1: Locate, using rapid ethnographic appraisals, where children are getting (re)infected.

Objective 2: Characterise, using parasite population genetics/genomics, which groups/individuals are contributing to these (re)infections.

Objective 3: Identify group/individual behaviours that put children at risk and how risk might be reduced.

Social science, field epidemiology, and molecular biology population genetics/genomics techniques will be used during the PhD to understand where children are (re)infected, who is contaminating these areas, and how contamination can be reduced.


V Rew, P Mook, S Trienekens et al. Whole genome sequencing revealed concurrent outbreaks of shigellosis in the English Orthodox Jewish Community caused by multiple importations of Shigella sonnei from Israel. Microbial Genomics 2018;4.

P Mook, J McCormick, S. Kanagarajah, GK Adak, P Cleary, R Elson, M Gobin, J Hawker, T Inns, C Sinclair, SCM Trienekens et al. Online market research panel members as controls in case-control studies to investigate gastrointestinal disease outbreaks: early experiences and lessons learnt from the UK. Epidemiol Infect 2018;146:458–464.

SCM Trienekens, CS Smith et al. Twenty years and counting: Epidemiology of an outbreak of isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis in England and Wales, 1995-2014. Euro Surveill 2017 Feb 22;8

Peeters Grietens K, Gryseels C, Dierickx S, Bannister-Tyrrell M, Trienekens S et al. Characterizing Types of Human Mobility to Inform Differential and Targeted Malaria Elimination Strategies in Northeast Cambodia. Sci Rep. 2015;5:16837

Gryseels C, Peeters Grietens K, Dierickx S, Xuan XN, Uk S, Bannister-Tyrrell M, Trienekens S et al. The Relevance of Understanding Different Types of Mobility for Malaria Elimination: the Case of Ratanakiri, Cambodia Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015;93(4):810-8

MG van Veen, SCM Trienekens, et al. Delayed linkage to care in one-third of HIV-positive individuals in the Netherlands STI 2015;0:1–7

S. Trienekens, C. Anderson, et al. Don’t count your chicken livers: An outbreak of Campylobacter sp. not associated with chicken liver parfait, England, November 2013 Plos Currents Outbreaks 2014;12:6

Trienekens SCM, van den Broek IVF, et al. Consultations for sexually transmitted infections in the general practice in the Netherlands: an opportunity to improve STI/HIV testing BMJ Open 2013;3:12

Trienekens SCM, Koedijk FDH, et al. Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in the Netherlands in 2011. Bilthoven: Centre for Infectious Disease Control - National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) 2012



Lord Kelvin Adam Smith interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship (University of Glasgow)