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Experimental Approaches to Human Schistosomiasis

Franz von LichtenbergDepartments of Pathology, Harvard Medical School and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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It is a great privilege to introduce the subject of schistosome immunopathogenesis before a group of workers which includes some of the most distinguished contributors to this field. It is because of their efforts that we know more about the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis today than of other parasitic diseases. Yet, we still do not know nearly enough!

In order not to encroach upon the forthcoming talks—of which I have not received summaries—this introduction will highlight some key problems of human schistosome pathology, with incursions into pertinent experimental work already accomplished or yet to be done. To provide such perspective is not an easy task, but I rely on our later speakers, especially on Ken Warren, to complete or correct these sketchy opening remarks.

Human perspective is essential in schistosomiasis research for several reasons. Man is the principal natural host of the schistosome species we are studying.