Immunity to Schistosomiasis: in vitro versus in vivo Models

  • Diane J. McLaren
  • S. R. Smithers
Chapter

Abstract

The importance of schistosomiasis as a public health problem of the Third World has stimulated intensive research into the immune mechanisms utilised by the host to destroy the parasites of a challenge infection. Investigations have centred largely on the use of experimental animal models. However, because of the difficulties involved in distinguishing which of the many complex responses of the host play an important role in protective immunity, progress in this area has been slow, and in vitro models have assumed new prominence. In vitro systems, although one step removed from the immune animal, offer distinct advantages with regard to isolation and dissection of various components of the immune response ; moreover, they enable tentative predictions to be made concerning the cytotoxic mechanisms which are most likely to operate in vivo. Since both models have advantages and disadvantages, they are best exploited by being used in conjunction rather than in isolation.

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Copyright information

© The contributors 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane J. McLaren
    • 1
  • S. R. Smithers
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of ParasitologyNational Institute for Medical ResearchMill Hill, LondonUK

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