What is the role of histocompatibility complexes and blood group antigens in the pathophysiology of schistosomiasis (bilharzia)?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: Shadab Hussain Ahmed, MD, AAHIVS, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The organisms, now called schistosomula, incorporate host proteins, including major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) and blood group antigens, into their integuments. Their metabolism shifts to glycolysis. The worms then migrate through the pulmonary capillaries to the systemic circulation, which carries them to the portal veins, where they mature. The adult worms are small, 12-26mm long and 0.3-0.6mm wide, and vary with the different species.


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