Immunology of Parasitic Infections: Report of a Workshop
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


: I wanted to make a comment upon schistosome immunity relative to the discussion this morning which focused upon events at the surface or tegument. We should remember that the schistosome is also ingesting blood constituents and spewing them forth. Perhaps some immune mechanisms might operate the worm. This might explain reduction of egg output later in the course of infection.

: It would seem doubtful that any immune mechanism would operate against the schistosome gut until the worm has passed the lung stage. During these early stages, it would appear that the gut is not functional; certainly no red blood cells are ingested until the hepatic portal system is reached.

In the adult worm, the pH of the gut is exceedingly low—pH 2.8 I believe. In this high acidity I would doubt whether antibodies would be effective. There is evidence that Gram-negative bacteria can live happily within the gut of the adult worm although outside the worm, in the host's bloodstream, they are rapidly destroyed.


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