Volume 78, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Artemether (ART) is a well-described antimalarial with efficacy against juvenile schistosomes, with 7-day-old schistosomula being particularly susceptible. Both ART-affected worms and parasites developing from irradiated cercariae die at similar times after infection. Our aim was to determine if ART treatment of prepatent schistosomiasis japonica may result in the generation of a protective immune response. Female CBA mice were treated with a single dose of ART at defined time points after percutaneous infection with a virulent Chinese mainland strain of . Half of the mouse cohorts were subjected to homologous parasite strain reinfection after drug treatment to assess protective effects of ART therapy. Two independent trials demonstrated that a statistically significant (58% and 50%) reduction in challenge worm burden occurred after reinfection of those mice treated with ART at two weeks p.i. A reduction in the IL-4 response to soluble worm antigen preparation (SWAP) was also seen in ART-treated mice but with no correlation to reinfection resistance. In the Chinese mainland strain used, ART treatment of prepatent infection at the appropriate time point induced resistance to reinfection. There was also an anti-pathology effect observed in ART-treated mice that remained significant after reinfection.


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  • Received : 07 Oct 2007
  • Accepted : 17 Feb 2008

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