Splenomegaly in Schistosomiasis Mansoni

Kurt Kloetzel Department of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Hospital das Clinicas, Department of Parasitology, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo

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Egg counts for Schistosoma mansoni in part of the population of a highly endemic town in Pernambuco, Brazil, showed that after reaching a maximum early in life, egg output decreased sharply. It is felt that acquired immunity may be involved.

While splenomegaly in other parasitic or infectious diseases may start in infancy, spleen enlargement in schistosomiasis occurs suddenly after the tenth year of life. A connection between this process and the sudden decrease in egg output is strongly suspected. The incidence of splenomegaly is significantly higher in a population with high egg counts. Egg output is also higher in the members of families in which splenomegaly occurs.

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