This study elucidated the fate of prenatal infections in piglets born by dams repeatedly infected before and during pregnancy with Schistosoma japonicum. Independent variables included repeated infections of the dams and treatment or challenge infection (or both) of the prenatally exposed piglets. Dependant variables were worm counts, fecal and tissue egg counts, weight gain, and gross pathological observations. Fifteen female piglets (the dams) were included, of which 6 received repeated infections with S. japonicum during 6 mo. All dams were inseminated and 10 wk pregnant; 12 of the dams were infected with S. japonicum, of which 6 had been repeatedly infected. Three dams remained uninfected. Eight weeks after delivery, the prenatally exposed piglets (the offspring) were grouped, and 6 of the 12 groups were treated with praziquantel. Four weeks after treatment, 5 groups of piglets were infected with S. japonicum. Groups of piglets were killed either 12 or 22 wk after delivery. Repeated infections of the dam did not prevent establishment of a congenital infection in the pig fetuses. Piglets born with a congenital infection were not resistant to a S. japonicum challenge infection given 12 wk after birth. Neither did praziquantel effectively cure the piglets nor did treatment of the prenatally infected piglets prevent establishment of a challenge infection given 4 wk after treatment. Results of the present study indicate that prenatal exposure, independently of the dam's infection status, may change the host response to challenge infections and treatment after birth.

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