Cell-mediated immune responses, assessed by lymphocyte clonal expansion in vitro, as well as humoral responses, assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were evaluated in capuchin monkeys during a 7-month infection with Schistosoma mansoni or with a Japanese or Philippine strain of Schistosoma japonicum. Although mounting a vigorous antibody response against parasite antigens, the S. mansoni-infected monkeys failed to show lymphocyte proliferation in response to stimulation with soluble adult worm antigen or soluble egg antigen derived from S. mansoni. Monkeys infected with S. japonicum responded to parasite antigens obtained from S. japonicum both by antibody production and lymphocyte blastogenesis. Monkeys infected with S. japonicum (Japanese strain) never developed detectable levels of circulating immune complexes (CIC). On the other hand high levels of CIC appeared at 7 months of infection in the monkeys infected with S. mansoni. The CIC levels exhibited negative correlations with intensity of infection. In studies of antigen species specificity, sera from S. mansoni-infected monkeys showed much higher IgG antibody titers to antigens derived from S. mansoni than to S. japonicum-derived antigens. On the other hand, monkeys infected with S. japonicum had comparable IgG antibody titers to antigens of both schistosome species.
Dr. Barral-Netto is a recipient of a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellowship.