Immunological Studies in Human Schistosomiasis

III. Immunoglobulin Levels, Antibodies, and Delayed Hypersensitivity

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  • Laboratoire d'Immunologie et de Biologie Parasitaire des U.E.R. de Médecine et de l'Institut Pasteur de Lille, Laboratório Central Gonçalo Moniz, FUSEB, Faculdade de Ciencias de Saude, Universidade de Brasilia, Salvador, Bahia, France

Levels of IgG, IgE, IgM, and IgA were determined, specific antibodies were detected by the fluorescent antibody test, hemagglutination test, complement fixation test and immunoelectrophoresis, and intradermal tests for delayed hypersensitivity to Schistosoma mansoni antigens were performed in Brazilian patients with schistosomiasis mansoni. The results were compared according to the clinical forms of the disease. IgG levels and antibody titers increased progressively in the subclinical, hepatomegalic, and hepatosplenic forms and there was a statistical relationship between IgG levels and the intensity of responses to the four serological tests. Delayed hypersensitivity (DHS) was found more frequently in hepato-splenic patients and more particularly in those with splenomegaly. DHS also correlated with age, but not with sex or with skin color. The strongest DHS reactions were observed in patients 20 to 34 years old, and in those having the highest fecal egg output. IgG levels, antibody titers, and DHS responses decreased after splenectomy and portal filtration of the worms. No significant variation was observed between untreated subjects, patients who were splenectomized and a group not subject to reinfection for 4 years.