By Charles Franklin Craig, M.D., M.A. (Hon.), F.A.C.S., F.A.C.P., Col., U. S. Army (Retired), D.S.M., Professor of Tropical Medicine in The Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana and Ernest Carroll Faust, M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Parasitology in the Department of Tropical Medicine, The Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana. Octavo, 733 pages, illustrated with 243 engravings. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, Pa
Because dual infection with Schistosoma mansoni and hepatitis B may lead to severe liver disease, populations living in schistosomiasis-endemic areas might benefit if effectively immunized against hepatitis B. To determine whether a plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine is immunogenic in patients with schistosomiasis, 32 individuals infected with S. mansoni were given three 20-µg doses of Heptavax-B vaccine and treated with praziquantel. Antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen developed in 90.6% of the study subjects after three doses of vaccine. Five patients (15.6%) had a weak response to the vaccine, and three patients (9.4%) failed to develop antibody. A weak or failed response to the vaccine was significantly associated with the presence of hepatosplenomegaly. A plasma-derived vaccine is immunogenic for persons infected with S. mansoni; however, vaccine response is diminished in hepatosplenic schistosomiasis.