Schistosoma mansoni: Influence of infection on mouse behavior

Marco Fiore, Rolando Moroni, Enrico Alleva, Luigi Aloe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schistosoma mansoni infection in humans and animals induces abnormal neurobehavioral responses following granuloma formation. In mice, granulomas in the liver are observed 8 weeks after infection, while after 15-20 weeks, the presence of eggs and granulomas in the brain has been reported. In this study, outbred CD-1 female mice were infected with S. mansoni and examined in several behavioral tests (open field, novel object investigation, black/white box, and hot plate) 8 and 15 weeks after infection. The detected effects of schistosome infection were a reduction of body weight in 8-week infected mice, marked changes in exploration/activity, rearing, and wall-rearing in 8- and 15-week infected mice, an enhancement of sniffing and grooming in 8-week infected mice, and finally an increase in the threshold of pain response to the hot plate in 15-week infected mice. The results of the present study indicate that S. mansoni infection markedly alters exploratory behavior of mice, affecting particularly the vertical movements of the animals, and suggests that the differences in behavioral abnormalities between 8- and 15-week infected mice might be associated with modifications in the levels of nerve growth factor and cytokines induced by granulomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


  • Behavior
  • Black/white box
  • Hot-plate
  • Mouse
  • Novel object investigation
  • Open field
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Trematode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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