Summary Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease afflicting hundreds of millions of people throughout the world against which there is as yet no effective vaccine. In the present study we tested the effect of the immunomodulator muramyl tripeptide phosphatidyl ethanolamine (MTP‐PE) on the survival of Schistosoma mansoni‐infected mice and on the induction in them of schistosomulicidal macrophages. Mice exposed to 80 cercariae each and then treated with MTP‐PE showed prolonged survival following either single or repeat infection. The treatment with MTP‐PE, when initiated 70 days post the schistosome infection, diminished significantly the mortality of infected mice over an observed period of 110 days. In terms of treatment efficacy there was no evident difference between the intravenous and intraperitoneal mode of administration of the drug. MTP‐PE treatment significantly reduced granuloma size and markedly diminished liver damage as judged by the lower levels of alkaline phosphatase in the serum. Such treatment exerted no significant effect on the spleen or liver weight in infected mice nor on the worm burden resulting from either a single or double infection. In infected and non‐treated mice, schistosomulicidal macrophages appeared after 8–10 weeks of infection. In infected mice treated with MTP‐PE there was an accelerated appearance of such macrophages and these exhibited a greater cidal effect on the schistosomula. These immunostimulatory and life‐prolonging effects of MTP‐PE on S. mansoni‐infected mice might indicate an effect of this reagent on cells involved in the granulomatous process.
|Number of pages||15|
|State||Published - Jul 1992|
- Schistosoma mansoni
- muramyl tripeptide phosphatidyl ethanolamine