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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Nov;80(21):6667-70.

Combination therapy of schistosomiasis by tubercidin and nitrobenzylthioinosine 5'-monophosphate.


Nitrobenzylthioinosine 5'-monophosphate (NBMPR-P) inhibits the transport of nucleosides, including tubercidin, in mammalian systems but not in Schistosoma mansoni. Administration of NBMPR-P with high doses of tubercidin (lethal doses if injected alone) by intraperitoneal injection into S. mansoni-infected mice was highly toxic to the parasite but not to the host. Combination therapy resulted in a striking decrease in the number and copulation of worms. The few worms that could be found were so stunted that it was difficult to identify their sex. Mice receiving the combination of tubercidin plus NBMPR-P appeared healthy and had normal-sized livers and spleens. Combination therapy also caused a drastic decrease in the number of eggs in the liver (from 32,500 to 1,800 eggs per liver) and in the intestine (from 1,295 to 2 eggs per cm2). All eggs found were dead, indicating the termination of oviposition. Very few granulomas were detected in livers of treated animals. Sections of these livers showed lesions containing dead worms and what appeared to be a process of regeneration of normal tissue around old granulomas. Thus, combination therapy reduced the number and the progress of the primary pathological lesions associated with schistosomiasis. These results demonstrate that through combination therapy, highly selective toxicity against a parasite can be achieved. The effectiveness, simplicity, and practicality of host protection afforded by this method may yield a promising chemotherapeutic approach for the treatment of schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases.

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