Mice protected against Schistosoma mansoni infection by intradermal (i.d.) immunization with nonliving larval or adult worm antigens plus bacterial adjuvant developed 24-hr skin test responsiveness to schistosome antigens with the histologic features of delayed hypersensitivity. Intraperitoneal antigen injection elicited a mononuclear cell-enriched exudative population containing macrophages activated for direct cytotoxicity against schistosomula and tumor cell targets. This was likely to be due to in vivo exposure to macrophage-activating lymphokines, since these cells were unresponsive to further lymphokine stimulation in vitro and splenocytes from immunized mice reacted to specific in vitro antigen challenge by production of lymphokines capable of conferring larvacidal activity upon control macrophages. In contrast, mice treated with schistosome antigens by i.v. injection, which were not protected against challenge infection, failed to develop delayed hypersensitivity or activated macrophages in response to specific antigen challenge in vivo, and the titers of macrophage-activating lymphokine produced by in vitro antigen-stimulated splenocytes from these mice were threefold to fourfold lower than those produced by cells from animals immunized by the i.d. route. Thus, sensitization for cell-mediated immune responses including lymphokine production and macrophage activation correlated with induction of resistance to S. mansoni in this model of vaccination.

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