Seroprevalence of Schistosoma mansoni in Puerto Ricans with inflammatory bowel disease.

E. A. Torres, H. Acosta, M. Cruz, J. Weinstock, G. V. Hillyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The etiology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is unknown. These diseases have a higher incidence in industrialized countries and their pathogenesis involves an over-reaction of the immune system. A genetic factor is believed to predispose to the development of chronic inflammation in response to an unidentified stimulus. Exposure to infections in childhood may modulate future immune responses. Parasitosis, particularly Schistosomiasis, stimulate Th2 immune responses. It has been hypothesized that the absence of these parasitic infections, as seen in economically developed countries, favors a Th1 response that may result in the clinical appearance of Crohn's disease later in life. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni antibodies in Puerto Ricans with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and controls. METHODS: Serum from 92 Puerto Ricans with IBD and 106 controls was screened for S. mansoni adult microsomal antigens (MAMA) using the FAST:ELISA assay. Those positive were confirmed with an enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot test. RESULTS: Seven serum samples (3 UC and 4 controls) were positive for S. mansoni antibodies. There was no significant difference between groups in gender, municipality of origin or seroprevalence of Schistosomiasis. The control group was slightly older than the IBD group. CONCLUSIONS: Our study did not demonstrate an inverse relation between Schistosomiasis and IBD. However, the decreasing prevalence of Schistosomiasis in the general population of Puerto Rico may account for this result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-214
Number of pages4
JournalPuerto Rico Health Sciences Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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