Volume 58, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Parasitologic, clinicopathologic, and pathologic aspects of Schistosoma japonicum infections of varying durations and intensities were studied in growing pigs injected intramuscularly with a dose of either 0, 100, 500, or 2,000 cercariae and killed at 4, 11, 17, or 24 weeks postinfection (PI). The number of viable worm pairs decreased significantly in the high dose group after 11 weeks PI but not in the lower dose groups; however, a stable population of immature worms persisted throughout the study in all dose groups. Liver egg counts also tended to decrease in the high dose group after 11 weeks but not in the other groups. Fecal egg excretion began at six weeks PI, was highest at eight weeks PI with a pronounced peak occurring only in the high dose group, and then decreased to low levels by 14 weeks PI in all groups. Egg counts from the feces as well as the liver correlated strongly with worm pair numbers during the acute phase of infection. The only clinicopathologic abnormality observed was an increase in circulating eosinophils corresponding to cercarial dose in all infected pigs by week six with peak counts occurring between six and eight weeks PI. The pigs exhibited no clinical signs of disease aside from diarrhea at the onset of patency. However, lesions were present throughout the large intestine of all infected pigs from 11 weeks PI, gradually decreasing with time. Severe liver fibrosis occurred in the 500 and 2,000 dose groups mainly at 11 weeks PI and then decreased in severity. In the liver, but not in the intestine, the severity of lesions at all time points was proportional to the cercarial dose given. The results indicate that after several weeks of patency, pigs with high intensities of S. japonicum infection are able to effectively eliminate the majority of adult worms while maintaining a stable population of immature schistosomes.


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