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Praziquantel efficacy in mice infected with PZQ non-susceptible S. mansoni isolate treated with artemether: parasitological, biochemical and immunohistochemical assessment

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Botros SS, Hammam O, Mahmoud M, Bergquist R. Praziquantel efficacy in mice infected with PZQ non-susceptible S. mansoni isolate treated with artemether: parasitological, biochemical and immunohistochemical assessment. APMIS 2010; 118: 692–702.

Based on the fact that artemether (ART) affects immature schistosomes and that the effect of praziquantel (PZQ) mainly targets mature schistosomes, this work investigates the possible enhanced efficacy of PZQ in combination with ART in mice harboring a PZQ non-susceptible Schistosoma mansoni isolate. Associated schistosomal, inflammatory, hepatic histopathological changes have been investigated by examining the tissue markers expressing apoptosis using FAS (CD95), anti-apoptosis (Bcl2) and angiogenesis [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)]. A batch of Swiss albino mice infected with a PZQ non-susceptible (EE10) S. mansoni isolate was divided into 12 groups. Animals of the first group were left without treatment as infected controls, while groups 2–6 received PZQ in increasing doses. The animals of group 7 received ART in double doses. Those comprising groups 8–12 received combined therapy of PZQ and ART in the same doses and at the same timings postinfection (PI) as those belonging to groups 2–6. Parasitological parameters, liver function, and histopathological and immunohistochemical studies of FAS, Bcl2 and VEGF antibodies were assessed. Combined administration of ART and PZQ reduced the ED50 (the dose at which the worm burden was decreased by 50%) of PZQ. Typical granulomas were not seen in animals treated with ART alone and combined with PZQ, with least expression of FAS and VEGF and increased expression of Bcl2. The minimal histopathological changes recorded in mice treated with both ART and PZQ could be related to a synergistic/additive effect of ART, markedly reducing the intensity of infection. Improved liver function tests support the less severe histopathological changes under the influence of this treatment protocol. This study encourages human trials especially in areas where malaria is not endemic, and differing combination doses should be investigated in view of the antagonistic effect noticed with some dose regimens.
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Keywords: ART; Bcl2; Fas; PZQ; S. mansoni; VEGF

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pharmacology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza 2: Pathology Department, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt 3: Ingerod, Brastad, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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