Induction of Resistance to Schistosoma Mansoni by Immunization with Subfractions of Worms

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  • Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Induction of resistance to a Schistosoma mansoni infection was analyzed following injections of glutaraldehyde-fixed parasites or of subfractions prepared from nonfixed parasites killed by repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The parasites were isolated from mice infected 4 weeks previously and the subfractions were prepared by extraction in buffered saline or in detergent. A variety of immunization protocols were conducted in rats and mice. These included different sites of injection, dose size, and number of booster injections; different adjuvants; and the effects of boosting with live infections. Induction of a partial resistance is observed in rats, but has not been achieved in mice immunized by the same procedures. The alum-precipitated detergent-solubilized fraction was superior at lower doses. Exposure of rats to a low dose cercarial infection 3 weeks prior to challenge did not boost the resistance if the rats were already partially resistant through vaccination with worm subfractions in adjuvant. Serum from vaccinated rats transfers partial protection to a challenge infection of naive rats.

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