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Influence of age of mice on the susceptibility to murine schistosomiasis infection

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Intensity of human schistosomiasis infection increases with age, a peak being attained at early puberty. Hormones could be involved in the age-related changes in susceptibility to schistosomiasis. Male BALB/c mice were infected with Schistosoma mansoni either before or after puberty and worm numbers, cellular immune responses, hormonal levels and pathology analysed. Pre-puberty infected mice had a significantly higher number of adult worms (p<0.05), more severe granulomas, higher mortality rate and higher proliferative responses as compared to postpuberty infected mice. Levels of the hormones were lower in the pre-puberty infected mice as compared to the post-puberty group early in the infection. Plasma levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormones decreased significantly (p<0.05) in infected mice when compared to controls. Susceptibility to S. mansoni in male BALB/c mice seems to be influenced by levels of testosterone and leutenizing hormone at infection. Albeit, an infection with S. mansoni seems to lower the hormonal levels. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13 (1-2) 2008: pp. 47-54


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