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Histopathological observations in new and classic models of experimental Schistosoma haematobium infections

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The authors present marsh rat Holochilus brasiliensis, jirds Meriones shawi and M. unguiculatus as new models of Schistosoma haematobium infection. Histological findings were compared with those of classic models mouse Mus and hamster Mesocricetus. In new models, embryonated eggs were seen in the stool from 90 days post infestation (DPI) and active disease developed from 117 to 175 DPI. Seven out of 10 rodents presented granulomatous and/or chronic cystitis, fibrosis, polyps and urothelial changes: squamous metaplasia, precancerous dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder. In the digestive tract of all new models, granulomas eroded the mucosa, formed inflammatory polyps, infiltrated the wall and accumulated into bilharziomas. In the liver, granulomatous hepatitis surrounded by bilharzial pigment deposit was apparent. Pipe‐stem fibrosis involved 4 rodents with precirrhotic changes in 1 and portal hypertension in 2. One female Meriones suffered from granulomatous endometritis and salpingitis. All new models developed pulmonary granulomatosis with associated vascular lesions: giant cell arteritis in 1 rodent, thromboses in 3 and pulmonary hypertension in 4 others. In classic models, 1 Mus presented a squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder while Meso‐cricetus displayed diverse lesions in digestive and genital tracts, liver and lungs. All tissue lesions, resembling those seen in humans in all points, were far more frequent and severe in new models than in classic ones. Those involving the urinary bladder have never been reported in other models such as monkeys: Pan troglodytes, Cercopithecus aethiops and Cebus apella. A comparison was carried out between different models on the basis of experimental conditions: definitive hosts, number of cercariae used, type and duration of infection. This study clearly demonstrated that Holochilus brasiliensis, Meriones shawi and M. unguiculatus are perfectly adequate models in terms of laboratory facilities. They are helpful in investigating the pathogenic mechanism of some disorders in S. haematobium infection, particularly tumours of the urinary bladder, and this may enhance therapeutic assays.

Keywords: Holochilus brasiliensis; M. unguiculatus; Meriones shawi; experimental S. haematobium infection

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Unité d'Anatomie et de Cytologie Pathologiques, Hôpital Saint Michel, Paris, France, 2: Muséum National d'Histoire naturelle, Laboratoire de Biologie parasitaire, Paris, France, 3: Laboratoire de Parasitologie expérimentale, Institut Santé et Développement, Paris, France

Publication date: 1996-06-01

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