Resistance Induced by Normal and Irradiated Schistosoma mansoni: Ability of Various Worm Stages to Serve as Inducers and Targets in Mice

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  • Immunoparasitology Branch, Naval Medical Research Institute, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Research Council, Bethesda, Maryland 20014, Italy

Lung stage schistosomula exposed to 50 kilorads of gamma irradiation induced significant resistance to challenge infection with Schistosoma mansoni following intravenous (tail or mesenteric vein), intramuscular, or intraperitoneal injection into mice. Similar or higher levels were induced with irradiated cercariae, while irradiated 3- or 4-week-old worms induced little resistance. Non-irradiated day 6 and day 12 lung schistosomula injected into mice immunized with irradiated cercariae were susceptible to elimination, though to a lesser extent than a challenge infection administered at the cercarial stage. Day 20 liver worms injected into a mesenteric vein were not susceptible to irradiated cercaria-induced resistance. In contrast, cercariae, day 6 lung schistosomula, day 12 lung schistosomula and day 20 liver worms were all susceptible to the resistance induced by a chronic (non-irradiated) infection.