The sources and metabolic dynamics of Schistosoma japonicum DNA in serum of the host
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay has turned out to be one of the most potential tools for diagnosis of schistosomiasis. However, the source and metabolic dynamics of Schistosoma japonicum DNA in the blood of hosts is not clear. In this study, rabbit models with monosexual and mixed sexual cercariae infection were established to interpret the source of the parasite DNA in serum of the hosts. Following administration of praziquantel at 7 weeks postinfection, the metabolic mechanism of S. japonicum DNA in serum of the hosts was studied. The findings showed that, for the monosexual cercariae infection, the parasite DNA was detectable in serum of the host from day 3 to week 3 postinfection, while for the mixed sexual cercariae infection, the detection results were continually positive during the 7 weeks after infection. After treatment with praziquantel, detection of S. japonicum DNA in rabbit sera became positive at the second day posttreatment, and the positive period lasted 3 weeks in the monosexual cercariae infection group. However, with the mixed sexual cercariae infection group, the PCR results remained positive for 16 weeks after treatment. We conclude that the S. japonicum DNA in host serum primarily comes from the residual body of dead schistosomula and/or tegument shedding of worm growing in the first 4 weeks postinfection, while during the spawning stage of the female schistosome, the parasite DNA mainly comes from the disintegration of inactive eggs. The duration from treatment to total elimination of worm origin DNA in serum is not exceeding 3 weeks. However, the DNA release from inactive eggs can last for more than 16 weeks. Further studies are needed to address the sources and metabolic dynamics of S. japonicum DNA in human serum.
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