Attempts to Transfer the Resistance of Schistosoma Mansoni-Infected and Irradiated Cercaria-Immunized Mice by Means of Parabiosis

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  • Immunoparasitology Branch, Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20014

Acquired resistance to Schistosoma mansoni infection was measured in S. mansoni-infected or irradiated cercaria-immunized mice, and in normal mice to which the former had been surgically joined. Such parabiotic partners were shown to freely exchange humoral and cellular blood constituents. There was no detectable transfer of resistance from mice infected for 8, 12, or 28 weeks to their uninfected partners, even if parabiosis was established before the initial infection and maintained to autopsy. In comparison with parabiosed controls, the number of adult worms surviving from a challenge infection was reduced by 51-96% in the previously infected mice but was not significantly reduced in their uninfected partners. In contrast, mice immunized with irradiated cercariae and their nonimmunized parabiotic partners showed similar levels of resistance. These data indicate that the resistance induced in mice by irradiated cercariae can be transferred, confirm that at least under some experimental conditions the resistance induced in mice by a previous S. mansoni infection is not readily transferred, and provide additional evidence that the resistance induced by normal infection and irradiated cercarial immunization differ in some fundamental way.