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Prospects for Immunological Intervention in Human Schistosomiasis, Supplementum 12 Acta Tropica (Basel), 44

by the World Health Organization. 117 pages. Schwabe & Co., Ltd., Basel, Switzerland. 1987. Sw. fr. 47

Franz von LichtenbergDepartment of Pathology Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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This slender volume summarizes advances in research on immunization against schistosomes up to May of 1986, as recorded by a select Scientific Working Group convened ad hoc under TDR auspices in Geneva. Brief introductions by Drs. Godal and Bergquist are followed by 16 contributed papers, and by a concise summary detailing the conclusions and recommendations of the group. These may be worth reading first before going into detail. The report itself is neither comprehensive nor final, but does provide interesting highlights of ongoing research and of some of the most respected workers engaged in it.

The two opening papers, by A. Davis and K. E. Mott, review the historical and epidemiological background pertinent to the prospects of human antischistosomal vaccination, a somewhat chilling start for these proceedings. Next, the Mill Hill group headed by S. R. Smithers, summarizes the hopeful lessons derived from studies of the murine “infection” and “vaccination” models of immunity to S. mansoni.