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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MAGALHAES, Luiz Augusto et al. Mansoni schistosomiasis in experimentally undernourished mice. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1986, vol.20, n.5, pp.362-368. ISSN 1518-8787.

Mansoni schistosomiasis was studied in mice fed on a low protein diet. Four groups of the Swiss breed Mus musculus were used in an experiment with two factors, each with two levels: 1-non-infected, normal diet; 2 - infected, normal diet ; 3 - non-infected, low protein diet; 4 - infected, low protein diet. The mice were killed for observation at age 90 days, after 60 days of infection, for those infected. It was found that the worms suffered the effects of malnutrition, mainly males, whose population count was cut by half, in addition to poor individual growth. The hepatic granuloma count was found to be smaller in the undernourished group; while the corresponding lesions were also generally smaller. There was a marked leukopenia in the malnourished mice, even more so in the infected mice. The severe lymphopenia and eosinopenia observed suggest that the immunologic system of the host was affected by malnutrition. Mortality rates were far larger in the infected, low protein diet group. One may then surmise that the malnourished mice offered lower resistance to the infection, their lower number of granuloma notwithstanding.

Keywords : Schistosomiasis mansoni [complications]; Protein deficiency; Mice [parasitology]; Mice [experimental infection]; Schistosoma mansoni.

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