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Exp Parasitol. 1997 May;86(1):29-36.

Schistosoma mansoni: maturation rate and drug susceptibility of different geographic isolates.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The fecundities and drug susceptibilities of Schistosoma mansoni isolates from Senegal, Puerto Rico, and Kenya have been examined in mice. The Senegal parasite, obtained from the field in 1993, was shown to have a longer prepatent period (eggs first recovered in the faeces on Day 46 after infection) than those of two isolates, from Puerto Rico and Kenya, that had been maintained for a long period in the laboratory (faecal eggs recovered on Days 38 and 36 after infection, respectively). A Kenyan isolate, also collected from the field in 1994, was shown to mature more slowly than the laboratory-maintained Kenyan isolate. Tissue egg counts confirmed that early in infection the fecundity of the recently collected isolates from Senegal and Kenya was significantly lower than that of the long-term laboratory-maintained Kenyan isolate. Praziquantel and oxamniquine treatment of 8-week-old infections caused a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in worm burden in all isolates tested. However, the reduction in worm burden after praziquantel treatment of infections of the Senegal isolate (50% reduction) was significantly lower than the > 90% reductions in worm burdens after praziquantel treatment of mice infected with either of the Kenyan isolates (P < 0.001). The study confirms that despite being tolerant to praziquantel, the Senegal isolate is fully susceptible to oxamniquine. The praziquantel tolerance of the Senegal parasite is not solely attributed to the state of maturation of the parasite at the time of drug administration.

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