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Br J Pharmacol. 1972 Nov;46(3):480-7.

Inhibition by metrifonate and dichlorvos of cholinesterases in schistosomes.


1. No species differences between Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni were detected when the I50 of metrifonate for the acetylcholinesterases (AChE) and the cholinesterases (ChE) of these two trematodes were determined in isolated enzyme preparations or following exposure of the intact worms to this drug in vitro.2. S. haematobium appeared to be more affected by AChE inhibition because, after administration of metrifonate to hamsters, a hepatic shift of the parasites was observed with a dose of metrifonate (150 mg (0.6 mmol) per kg) which produced no shift of S. mansoni, although AChE inhibition was comparable in both species.3. Administration of a possible metabolite of metrifonate, dichlorvos, to hamsters resulted in a greater inhibition of AChE and ChE activities of S. haematobium than those of S. mansoni. Furthermore, when schistosomes were incubated with dichlorvos, inhibition of AChE activity of female S. haematobium was significantly greater (P<0.005) than that of both sexes of S. mansoni and of male S. haematobium.4. The discrepancy between the lack of a significant chemotherapeutic effect of metrifonate in hamsters infected with S. haematobium and the clinical results obtained with this organophosphorus compound in human schistosomiasis haematobium is discussed, and the need to conduct similar studies in primates is pointed out.

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