Comparative Study of Schistosoma Mansoni Strains Isolated from Patients with Toxemic or Intestinal Forms of Schistosomiasis

Maria Fernanda F. de Lima e Costa Centro de Pesquisas “René Rachou”—FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte, and Departmento de Medicina Preventiva e Social, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Naftale Katz Centro de Pesquisas “René Rachou”—FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte, and Departmento de Medicina Preventiva e Social, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Six Schistosoma mansoni strains from Belo Horizonte (three from patients with the toxemic form of schistosomiasis and three from patients with the chronic intestinal form) have been experimentally compared. The following characteristics of infection were analyzed in the laboratory in mice: length of prepatent period, infectivity, total and differential white blood cell count, recovery of eggs in tissues, distribution of eggs in the viscera, and response to specific treatment. While significant differences existed among these six strains, those from patients with the toxemic form did not present a characteristic behavior that could clearly differentiate them from strains from non-toxemic patients. These results strongly suggest that the development of the toxemic form in man is not due to specific characteristics of the S. mansoni strain.

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