In the experimental schistosomiasis mansoni glucocorticoids cause a reduction in the worm burden when administered in the week of infection or, the longest, at the next week. In order to determinate the probable(s) site(s) of reduction of the worm burden, mice were infected with cercariae of LE strain of S. mansoni and dexamethasone was administered daily (50 mg/kg, subcutaneously) starting 1 hour before infection until the eighth day. Mice were sacrificed daily starting on the third day after infection until the ninth day, and schistosomula from lungs were collected. Six weeks after infection, the remaining mice were sacrificed and perfused for adult worm recovery. Analysis of the results showed that the non-treated mice presented larger numbers of lung larvae than the treated ones, and this difference was also found later in the worm burden in the portal system. This difference may reflect the early death of larvae in treated animals, before or after reaching the lungs.
Schistosoma mansoni; Schistosomiasis; Dexamethasone; Glucocorticoids