Volume 15, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A skin test evaluation for schistosomiasis was made on a citrus estate located near Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. One hundred fifty-five Bantu children, 6–13 years of age (100 males and 55 females), were tested. In this group, 142 (92%) were found to be infected with either or on examination of one urine and one stool specimen. The group was tested with antigens prepared from adult worms of administered by needle and syringe. In addition, the same antigen was administered with a foot-powered hypodermic jet injection apparatus equipped with an intradermal head. Antigens prepared from adult worms of and larvae of were administered and tested by needle and syringe in the skin. Control antigen consisted of buffered saline with merthiolate.

The average wheal area obtained in the group with the control antigen was 0.6 cm; with the antigen (needle and syringe) 3.0 cm; with the antigen (jet injector) 2.5 cm; with the antigen 2.9 cm; and with the antigen 0.8 cm.

In the group, 25 were infected by , 50 by and 67 by both parasites. There was a significant difference in skin reactivity demonstrated by individuals infected with one or both parasites. There was no significant difference in the average size of the wheal area between and antigens. The antigen was, however, more sensitive than the antigen. Five of 142 infected individuals were false-negative with the antigen, whereas 10 of 142 were false-negative with the antigen.

The excretion of eggs in the urine over a one-hour period was measured. There was no correlation between the size of the wheal in the skin test and the hourly excretion of eggs.

Three individuals out of 88 tested with the antigen were positive with wheal areas of 1.4, 1.9 and 3.0 cm. The serum of the individual with the 3.0 cm wheal area was tested for antibodies against and was found to be negative.

Eggs of were found in the urine of eight individuals, eggs of in the stools of two individuals and eggs of in the urine of one individual. Of the 13 individuals negative by one urine or stool specimen, seven were positive by the skin test.


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