Schistosoma japonicum infection modulates the development of allergen-induced airway inflammation in mice

Parasitol Res. 2008 Oct;103(5):1183-9. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-1114-1. Epub 2008 Jul 25.


Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, is coordinated by Th2 cells in both human asthmatics and animal models of allergic asthma. It has been shown that helminth infections including Schistosoma mansoni may modulate atopic diseases including asthma. In the present study, BALB/c mice were infected with bisexual and unisexual (male) S. japonicum, respectively, prior to ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge. Compared to mice with OVA sensitization/challenge alone, S. japonicum infection led to a significant decrease of eosinophil accumulation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) collected 48 h postchallenge, as well as to a marked reduction in inflammatory cell infiltration around the airways and pulmonary blood vessels. Compared to OVA-immunized uninfected mice, the level of OVA-specific serum IgE as well as interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 in BALF were reduced, but IL-10 was strongly elevated in mice with preexisting S. japonicum infection prior to OVA immunization. These results suggest that both bisexual and male S. japonicum infections may modulate the development of allergic asthma.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Eosinophils / physiology
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Schistosoma japonicum*
  • Schistosomiasis japonica / immunology*
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin