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Parasitology. 1986 Feb;92 ( Pt 1):83-100.

Schistosoma mansoni: dynamics of migration through the vascular system of the mouse.


Autoradiography of compressed mouse tissues has been used to estimate the numbers of 75Se-labelled schistosomula present in different mouse organs. Day 7 parasites extracted from the lungs of donor mice were delivered by injection to the lungs, systemic organs and liver of recipient mice as a discrete pulse. The numbers detected in various locations with time post-injection were then used to analyse the dynamics of intravascular migration. Approximately 98% of cercaria-associated label was lost during the first 14 days of parasite life, two-thirds of this in the first 7 h post-infection. Nevertheless, 99-113% of schistosomula could be detected 30 min post-injection into the locations chosen. The efficiency of the parasite delivery system was 95%. The time required for the number of foci in the lungs to decline to 50%, after injection of parasites via the femoral vein, was 55 h. Adjustment of this data to allow for parasites returning to the lungs after passage round the systemic vasculature gave a value of 30-35 h for the true mean time of lung transit. The distribution of parasites to systemic organs after their exit from the lungs was proportional to the fractional distribution of cardiac output. The probability (P) of a schistosomulum being distributed to splanchnic beds was estimated at 0.32 and its P of being trapped in the hepatic portal distributaries within the liver as 0.72-0.86. On this basis, the entire hepatic portal population of adult schistosomes would be recruited during 2-3 circuits of parasites around the pulmonary--systemic vasculature. The mean transit time of schistosomula through intestinal capillaries was 6.5 h whilst that through other systemic organs combined (muscles, kidneys, brain, etc) was 16 h, considerably more rapid than lung transit. The time taken for schistosomula to pass between organs, in arterial and venous blood, was shown to be less than 30 min in both cases (probably much less).

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