Intradermal and Serologic Reactions to Antigens from Schistosoma Mansoni in Schistosome Dermatitis

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  • National Communicable Disease Center, Bureau of Disease Prevention and Environmental Control, U. S. Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333


Skin tests with antigens of Schistosoma mansoni were done on 134 residents of an area where schistosome dermatitis (“swimmer's itch”) is endemic; histories were taken, and 119 blood samples were serologically tested for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis. Of the 103 with a history of schistosome dermatitis, 24.3% reacted positively to the adult antigen and 28.2% to the cercarial skin-test antigen; 22.1% of the group was positive by the fluorescent-antibody test. The complement-fixation test was negative for all persons tested. The rate of positive reactions observed in those with a recent history of schistosome dermatitis suggests that skin test and FA test results may not be reliable in areas where both the schistosomes of man and of birds infect man.