Resistance to praziquantel: direct evidence from Schistosoma mansoni isolated from Egyptian villagers.

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  • 1 Faculty of Medicine, Department of Parasitology, University of Zagazig, Egypt.

Recent evidence suggest that resistance to praziquantel (PZQ) may be developing. This would not be surprising in countries like Egypt where the drug has been used aggressively for more that 10 years. The classic phenotype of drug resistance is a significant increase in the 50% effective dose value of isolates retrieved from patients not responding to the drug. In a previous publication, we reported that such phenotypes have been isolated from humans infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Since the action of PZQ may be dependent upon the drug and host factors, most notably the immune system, we analyzed the quantitative effects of PZQ on single worms that differed in their response to PZQ when maintained in mice. Our hypothesis was that the in vitro action of the drug would correlate with it in vivo action. We confirmed this hypothesis and conclude that the in vitro action of the drug is related to its in vivo action. Knowing this relationship will assist in our ability to detect or survey for the PZQ resistant phenotype in human populations.