In vitro culture of Schistosoma haematobium

In June 2017, Schistosoma haematobium, the second most important schistosome species after Schistosoma mansoni, has been taken into in vitro culture at helminGuard. This will allow identifying drugs that are effective both against S. mansoni and S. haematobium.

S. haematobium couple - 14 months-old

S. haematobium couples and single males - 77 days-old

In vitro-raised Schistosoma haematobium couples 14 months (left) and 77 days (right) after transformation. Right video: Note, the prominent double-barreled gut of the single males shown at the beginning of the video. The second part shows couples with the females both in regular and in inverse position. Even when the anterior or posterior ends of the females are not peeping out, couples can be recognized by the superimposed gut structures of males and females.

S. haematobium adult males - 178 days-old

S. haematobium young adults - 70 days-old

S. haematobium juveniles - 43 days-old

S. haematobium juveniles - 24 days-old

In vitro-raised Schistosoma haematobium worms at various times after transformation. Most of the above videos were taken in the absence of blood cells to get a more detailled view on worm morphology.

Eggs, miracidia and cercariae of Schistosoma haematobium

S. haematobium eggs

S. haematobium miracidia

Schistosoma haematobium eggs and empty egg shells in gut homogenate (left) (the infected gut was kindly provided by Prof. Cornelis H. Hokke, LUMC, Leiden). Note the prominent terminal spines typical for this species. In some eggs miracidia are moving - ready to hatch.
The hatched miracidia are quickly moving to find their snail hosts (right).

S. haematobium cercariae

Schistosoma haematobium cercariae released from infected Bulinus truncatus water snails.

Bulinus truncatus water snails, the intermediate hosts of S. haematobium

As a prerequisite for obtaining the parasites at sufficient numbers, the breeding of Bulinus truncatus water snails, the intermediate hosts of S. haematobium, has been established at helminGuard.

Bulinus truncatus snails kept by aqua farming

The Bulinus truncatus snails are kept by aquaponics. The video shows parent snails (kindly provided by Prof. Cornelis H. Hokke, LUMC, Leiden) and many baby snails floating in the water or moving around.

Aquaponics largely reduces tank cleaning efforts.

Bulinus egg mass

Bulinus egg mass with baby snails shortly before hatching (day 7 after egg deposition).

Young adult Bulinus snails

Three weeks after hatching the Bulinus snails have developed into young adults