Volume 27, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Specific IgM and IgG antibody to a polysaccharide present in the epithelial cells of the gut of adult schistosomes was measured in four groups of infected patients: I) patients with documented acute schistosomiasis; II) Americans exposed to schistosomiasis within the preceding 0–4 years; III) chronically and heavily infected patients, mostly from Puerto Rico, without hepatomegaly or hepatosplenomegaly; and IV) heavily infected Brazilian children with hepatic or hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Specific IgM and IgG titers were both highest in the acute Group I patients and lowest in the chronically infected Groups III and IV. Total IgG and IgM levels were compared to specific antibody titers. Immunoglobulin levels tended to follow specific antibody titers except in the chronically infected Groups III and IV in which total IgG rose to high levels. The decrease in specific antigen titers over the course of time occurred despite continued antigenic stimulation and suggests a modulation of the humoral response. The mechanism remains obscure.


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