Anemia in Mice Infected with Gamma-Irradiated or Nonirradiated Schistosoma Mansoni

Duane G. EricksonU. S. Army Tropical Research Medical Laboratory, APO 851, New York, N. Y.

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Mice infected with nonirradiated schistosomes of both sexes demonstrated decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit values by 8 weeks after exposure. This apparent anemia was very severe by 12 weeks after exposure and was characterized by a depressed mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. Mice harboring a greater number of schistosomes of only the male sex demonstrated only a slight anemia by 16 weeks after exposure. Similarly, mice infected with both sexes of schistosomes, which had been irradiated with 3000 r so that oviposition was greatly diminished, demonstrated only slight anemia after 16 weeks of infection. However, no difference was detected between this partially sterile bisexual infection and the numerically equivalent infection of only male schistosomes.

It is believed that the difference in accumulation of eggs in the tissues was of primary importance in producing the striking difference in response to the infection, and the mere presence of male and female schistosomes together in mice is no more pathogenic, as far as the production of the anemia of schistosomiasis is concerned, than is a numerically equivalent male schistosome infection.

Author Notes

Present address: Dept. of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C. 20012.