Mother-Child Relationship in Human Schistosomiasis Mansoni

I. Parasitic Antigens and Antibodies in Milk

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  • Laboratoire d'Immunologie et de Biologie Parasitaire des U.E.R. de Médecine et de l'Institut Pasteur de Lille, Laboratorio Central Gonçalo Moniz, Service d'Immunochimie de l'Institute Pasteur de Lyon, Lille, France

Immunoglobulins, anti-Schistosoma mansoni antibodies, complement components and schistosome antigens were investigated in milk from mothers infected with S. mansoni. No significant differences of immunoglobulins or complement component levels were observed between infected and control mothers. Anti-S. mansoni antibodies were detected in the milk of 8 out of 25 infected mothers. A significant relationship was observed between serum and milk antibody levels. Two circulating S. mansoni antigens, parasite “M” antigen and antigen “4,” were demonstrated in milk from infected patients by the double diffusion micromethod. The function of these immunologically active substances transmitted by milk from mother to child is discussed.