Over the last decade, there has been accumulating evidence showing that signalling pathways are involved in extensive biological and physiological processes in the human blood fluke schistosomes, playing essential roles in environmental sensing, host penetration, growth, development, maturation, embryogenesis, tissue self-renewal and survival. Owing to the likelihood of resistance developing against praziquantel, the only drug currently available that is effective against all the human schistosome species, there is an urgent requirement for an alternative treatment, arguing for continuing research into novel or repurposed anti-schistosomal drugs. An increasing number of anticancer drugs are being developed which block abnormal signalling pathways, a feature that has stimulated interest in developing novel interventions against human schistosomiasis by targeting key cell signalling components. In this review, we discuss the functional characterization of signal transduction pathways in schistosomes and consider current challenges and future perspectives in this important area of research.

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