Attrition of schistosomes in an Irradiation-Attenuated Cercarial Immunization Model of Schistosoma mansoni

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  • Division of Tropical Public Health, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Immunoparasitology Branch, Naval Medical Research Institute, Cell Biology/Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20014

The attribution of Schistosoma mansoni challenge worms was studied in irradiation-attenuated cercaria-immunized mice as a function of site and time. The peak recovery of schistosomula from the lungs of immunized mice was delayed 2 days in comparison with non-immunized controls. The difference between the peak recoveries of control and immunized mice accounted for about half of the final attrition observed at the 7-week adult worm stage. Hepatic-mesenteric vein worm recoveries obtained 10 to 42 days after challenge were reduced in most cases at least as much as the 49-day counts. Somewhat higher reductions were observed at 14 to 28 days than at 49 days, confirming the evidence of delayed migration obtained at the lung phase. These findings, coupled with histologic observations, indicate that at least half of the worm elimination attributable to immunization occurs 8 or more days after the challenge infection.