UNIT 19.1 Schistosomiasis
Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
Copyright © 2003 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Lab Protocol Title
Current Protocols in Immunology
How to Cite
Lewis, F. 2001. Schistosomiasis. Current Protocols in Immunology. 28:19.1:19.1.1–19.1.28.
- Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
- Published Print: DEC 1998
This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (18 NOV 2013)
The trematode parasites in the family Schistosomatidae (phylum Platyhelminthes) infect a wide range of vertebrates. Three species of the genus Schistosoma are of major medical importance. This unit deals exclusively with the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, which is the species most frequently maintained in the laboratory. Among the far-ranging investigations in the immunology of schistosomiasis are studies in vaccine development, immunopathology of granulomatous inflammation and fibrosis, eosinophil function, and in vivo regulation of TH1 and TH2 responses. This unit describes maintenance and collection procedures for various stages of the schistosome that have immunologic interest, including infection of mice with cercariae, collection of cercariae, preparation of in vitro-derived schistosomules and in vivo-derived schistosomules, and collection of adult worms and eggs. Included also are techniques for preparing soluble egg antigen (SEA), one of the more commonly used schistosome antigenic preparations. A discussion is given of the basic steps that are important in maintaining the snail intermediate host, and infecting the snails with schistosome miracidia. The unit deals exclusively with the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, which is the species most frequently maintained in the laboratory. Since part of the life cycle of all schistosomes involves a snail host, a description of proper maintenance for the snails is provided. Often, problems in experiments can be traced back to improper snail and parasite maintenance, or lack of attention to detail during mammalian exposure to the infective stage (cercaria) of the parasite.