Volume 26, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Plasma samples from St. Lucians were tested for the presence of antibodies which cooperate in vitro with normal human leukocytes in causing cytotoxic damage to schistosomula of . The in vitro antibody activity, which has been previously shown to depend on eosinophil effector cells was detected in 56% of the individuals with known, current infections and in 14% of control subjects from the same endemic area. Quantitatively, eosinophil dependent cytotoxic antibody (EDCA) activity, when expressed as the maximum amount of damage to schistosomula induced at high plasma concentration, correlated significantly with the intensity of infection as determined by fecal egg count, the highest levels of activity occurring in patients with stool counts of 60 eggs/ml or greater. In addition, plasma EDCA activity was found to correlate with the in vitro blastogenic responsiveness of patients' lymphocytes to three different parasite antigen preparations. In contrast, titrations of EDCA activity failed to reveal a relationship between EDCA titer and the most recent egg count performed on each subject. However, a significant correlation was observed when titers were compared to egg counts averaged over a 3-year period. Neither maximal EDCA activity nor titer was found to correlate with the duration of known schistosome infection.


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