The in vitro culture protocol established at helminGuard allows the stable maturation of Schistosoma mansoni larvae into adult parasites including deposition of immature eggs. The worms are kept with human blood/constituents to mimic their natural environment, i.e. human blood/vessels. Thus, immune cells and immune factors are present in the assay milieu. The presence of these factors is essential for potentiating the mode of action of anthelminthic compounds such as praziquantel, and represents a key advantage of this functional assay format over target-based biochemical or cellular assays.
In vitro grown 18-day-old schistosome larvae
In vitro matured adult schistosome couples surrounded by immature eggs
*supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research Program “Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments”, BMBF/PTJ 0315277