Effects of Chemotherapy on the Evolution of Schistosomiasis Japonica in Chimpanzees

Elvio H. SadunDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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Franz von LichtenbergDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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Duane G. EricksonDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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Allen W. CheeverDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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Ernest E. BuedingDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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J. Scott AndersonDepartment of Medical Zoology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Pathology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, USA Medical Laboratory, PAC, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Washington, D. C. 20012

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In order to obtain information on whether established bilharzial lesions in various organs are persistent or reversed after treatment, 10 chimpanzees were infected with Schistosoma japonicum and treated 2 to 4.5 months later with a nitrovinylfuran derivative. Nine others were kept as controls. Regardless of timing, treatment resulted in the prompt reversal of most clinical symptoms as well as hematological and biochemical abnormalities, with the notable exception of the elevated immunoglobulin levels and only partial correction of hypoalbuminemia. No deleterious effects of treatment were noted. Treatment had a pronounced effect on the extent of colonic lesions, and on the degree of schistosomal nephropathy; in the liver inflammatory activity was significantly reduced, but the degree of portal fibrosis and of vascular abnormalities remained comparable to those observed at the time treatment was begun. Thus clinical or parasitological improvement did not reliably reflect the degree of pathological changes persisting after treatment. In the chimpanzees treated 2 months after exposure anatomical schistosome lesions were minimal and completely inactive. In the remaining animals the lesions were only partly inactivated. Portal liver fibrosis was prevented by early treatment; with later treatment it was stabilized but not reversed. On the other hand, treatment did not at any time aggravate the clinical or pathological status of the infected animals.

Author Notes

Dr. Sadun died on 23 April 1974.

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