Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
LESCANO, Susana Zevallos et al. Antischistosomal activity of artemether in experimental Schistosomiasis mansoni. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.1, pp.71-75. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102004000100010.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of intramuscular injection of artemether in mice experimentally infected with Schistosoma mansoni , at the time of infection, during schistosomula maturation and after the beginning of egg-laying. METHODS: Eighty adult females Balb/c mice were divided into 8 groups with 10 animals each. Seven groups were infected with S. mansoni using 60 cercariae for each animal, inoculated subcutaneously, and the remaining group was maintained without infection. Among the seven infected groups, six were treated with artemether, according to the following schedule: three groups received doses of 100 mg/kg on days 0, 20 or 60 after inoculation of the cercariae; the other three received 50 mg/kg of artemether, also on days 0, 20 or 60. At the end of the 9th, 10th and 11th weeks after infection all the mice infected with S. mansoni were submitted to fecal examination using the Kato-Katz technique. On the 80th day of the experiment, the surviving animals were sacrificed and submitted to perfusion of the portal system in order to recover the worms. Body, liver and spleen weights of each animal were determined at that time. RESULTS: A reduction in egg-laying and the number of worms recovered was observed in mice treated with artemether (50 or 100 mg/kg) on the 20th day after infection. The decrease in the number of worms was more notable among S. mansoni females. A significant decrease in liver and spleen weights was also seen on the 20th day among animals treated with 50 or 100 mg/kg of artemether and also among those that received the drug at a dose of 50 mg/kg 60 days after infection. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of the antischistosomal activity of artemether was shown, even at a dose of 50 mg/kg, when the drug was administered during the schistosomula maturation period in the portal system of the vertebrate host.
Keywords : Schistosoma mansoni; Artemisinins [therapeutic use]; Schistosomiasis mansoni [drug therapy]; Animal experimentation; Artemether.