Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Experiments were conducted to evaluate critically, and independently of the immune system, the possible role of hemodynamic mechanisms in resistance to schistosomal reinfection. The effects of a challenge schistosomal infection were compared in groups of mice which were either previously infected with schistosomiasis, vaccinated with irradiated cercariae, or underwent partial portal vein ligation for the induction of portal hypertension and porto-systemic shunting. Following infection with 60 cercariae, the appearance of portal hypertension preceded by ≈ 2 weeks the development of porto-systemic shunting, which reached maximal values 11 weeks postinfection. Such a primary infection conferred on C3H mice an estimated 90% protection to a 2nd infection, measured by the reduction of worm burden. Worm burdens were also reduced in vaccinated and ligated animals as compared to normal controls. The protection amounted to 30% and 56%, respectively, in the C3H strain and 63% and 75–85%, respectively, in the C57Bl/6 strain. Reduction in worm burden in the ligated animals is believed to be due to the extrahepatic porto-systemic vascular shunts. Hemodynamic as well as immunological factors may account for the resistance to reinfection observed in chronic murine schistosomiasis.


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