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J Infect Dis. 1998 Jul;178(1):289-93.

Chemotherapy accelerates the development of acquired immune responses to Schistosoma haematobium infection.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.


Treatment of 41 Schistosoma haematobium-infected children, 5-16 years old, with the drug praziquantel induced a switch from a predominantly IgA-specific antibody response to a predominantly IgG1 response within 12 weeks. A cross-sectional survey suggests that the same switch occurs naturally, but over several years, as children age (n = 251). The switch may be driven by alterations in cytokine levels in response to the release of antigens by dead or damaged parasites. Adults are more resistant to schistosome infection than children, and the switch to an "adult" response suggests that praziquantel treatment may have an immunizing effect, with benefits extending beyond a transient reduction in levels of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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