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Keywords:

  • granuloma;
  • immunomodulation;
  • liver;
  • pig;
  • Schistosoma japonicum

SUMMARY

Immunomodulation of perioval granulomas is a well-known phenomenon in schistosome-infected mice, but only little is known about granuloma modulation in other animal models of human schistosomiasis. In the present study, we explored immunomodulation of egg granulomas in the liver in a pig model of schistosomiasis japonica. Granuloma size was measured and T cells, B cells and IgG+ plasma cells in granulomas were quantified in pigs at 9, 12 and 21 weeks post infection (wpi) with Schistosoma japonicum. Granulomas were largest at 9 wpi, had decreased significantly in size at 12 wpi and remained small at 21 wpi (9 vs. 12 and 21 wpi:< 0·05). The size of granulomas containing mature and immature eggs, respectively, did not differ significantly. The density of T (CD3ɛ+) cells and IgG+ plasma cells in granulomas was the same, irrespective of granuloma size and time points. B (CD79α+) cells were rare in granulomas. The results indicate that in pigs, S. japonicum egg granulomas in the liver are immunomodulated at an early stage of infection, and that not only mature but also immature eggs induce a marked granulomatous reaction in this species.