Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Mice exposed to irradiated cercariae of develop a partial resistance to subsequent parasite challenge. In this study we utilized histopathologic methods to investigate the fate of both the immunizing and challenge cercariae in C57BL/6J mice. After immunization by percutaneous infection, a large number of the 50 Kr irradiated organisms could be detected in tissue sections of lung. However, as early as 2 weeks after immunization, the majority of these schistosomula apparently had died, leaving residual inflammatory foci. The numbers of these foci then gradually declined during the next 4 weeks of examination. Cercarial challenge of mice vaccinated 4 weeks previously provoked an intense eosinophil-enriched inflammatory response in percutaneously exposed ear pinnae. Despite these pronounced tissue reactions, no evidence of significant parasite damage or attrition was detected in this migration site. In contrast, schistosomula arriving in the lungs of vaccinated mice produced a greater number of residual inflammatory foci than did larvae appearing in the lungs of normal mice. In addition, challenge schistosomula were cleared from the lungs of vaccinated mice at a slower rate than they were from the lungs of control mice. These observations suggest that the lung is a major site of parasite attrition for both immunizing and challenge infections in the mouse irradiated vaccine model.


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