Schistosoma Mansoni Infection in Intact and B cell Deficient Mice: The Effect of Pretreatment with BCG in These Experimental Models

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  • Parasitology and Pathology Divisions, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

The course of infection with Schistosoma mansoni was determined in B cell deficient mice by means of a schistosomule lung recovery assay 6 days after infection or by determination of the adult worm burden 7 weeks after infection. The intensity of infection was not significantly different from that in age- and sex-matched intact controls. B cell deficiency was demonstrated by absence of surface immunoglobulin-bearing cells in the spleen and by absence of B cell areas in the lymphoid follicles of the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. In addition, B cell deficient mice infected for 7 weeks with S. mansoni were unable to form anti-schistosome antibodies detectable by the Cercarienhüllenreaktion. A normal granulomatous response, however, was observed around schistosome eggs. Pretreatment with BCG suppressed infection with S. mansoni comparably in intact and B cell deficient mice. A marked depletion of eosinophils occurred in the schistosome egg granuloma of all BCG treated mice.