The in vitro culture protocol established at helminGuard allows the stable maturation of Schistosoma mansoni larvae into adult parasites including deposition of viable eggs and hatching of miracidia. 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 12-day-old Schistosoma mansoni larvae
In vitro-matured S. mansoni couples and in vitro-laid eggs of various maturation stages
First hatchings of miracidia from eggs of in vitro-grown schistosomes. Note the double-spined shell of one of the eggs (at the end)
*supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research Program “Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments”, BMBF/PTJ 0315277