The effect of vaccinating S. mansoni–infected BALB/c mice either before or after treatment

  • Dorcas S Yole PO Box 24481, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Vincent O Obanda Zoology Department, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kiio Kithome Institute of Primate Research, PO Box 24481, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Horance Ochanda Zoology Department, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya


In Schistosoma mansoni endemic areas, there are people with ongoing S. mansoni infection, others have been infected and treated while others have never been infected. What would happen if these different groups of people were vaccinated against S. mansoni? BALB/c mice were divided into five groups: Infected-Treated-Vaccinated; Infected-Vaccinated-Treated; Vaccinated-Treated Control; Challenge Control and Untreated challenge Control. Vaccination (500 20krad irradiated S. mansoni cercariae), Treatment (praziquantel), Infection and Challenge (150 S. mansoni cercariae) were carried out at specified times. Proliferation assay, Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, gross pathology, histopathology and perfusion were performed. High protection levels were obtained in mice treated after vaccination: Vaccinated-Treated control, 96.5%; Infected-Vaccinated-Treated, 68.9%; and Infected-Treated-Vaccinated, 41%. A good correlation was obtained between proliferative responses and protective levels, implying cellular involvement in protection. Although all protected animals had high IgG levels, there was no strong correlation between the two. Specificity rather than amounts of IgG, seem more important in protection. Praziquantel seemed to boost protective immunity when administered after vaccination. Granuloma development and modulation in the two test groups was similar. It seems better to vaccinate infected patients before treatment, the ideal situation being vaccinating people who have not encountered S. mansoni.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 12(3-4) 2005: 65-77

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eISSN: 1022-9272