Comparison of immune responses between high and low responder strains of mice in the concomitant immunity and vaccine models of resistance to Schistosoma mansoni

S L James, A W Cheever
Parasitology 1985, 91: 301-15
Mice of the inbred P strain fail to develop significant resistance to challenge Schistosoma mansoni infection at 6 weeks after either low-grade primary infection or vaccination with attenuated homologous parasites, in contrast to other strains such as C57Bl/6, and thus provide a model for comparison of potential immune resistance mechanisms in low versus high responder animals. In this study, the antigen-specific cellular responses found to correlate with resistance in these strains were delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity, production of macrophage activating lymphokine and macrophage larvicidal activity, all of which were greater in infected or vaccinated C57Bl/6 mice than in similarly immunized but non-resistant P mice. Humoral responses correlating with resistance were IgM reactivity to schistosomula surface antigens in both infected and vaccinated animals, as well as both IgM and IgG reactivity to soluble schistosome antigens in infected mice. Immune responses that showed no relationship with resistance included IgG reactivity to larval surface antigens and immediate hypersensitivity to soluble worm antigens. In infected mice, neither granuloma size nor extent of hepatic fibrosis correlated positively with resistance to challenge infection. Thus, similarities exist between patterns of resistance and immune response at this early time after immunization with either viable or attenuated parasites. These observations suggest that common immune effector mechanisms could be involved, with activated macrophages playing a central role in resistance.

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