A heat-labile plasma factor from genetically resistant 10-R2 Biomphalaria glabrata snails confers passively transferred resistance (PTR) to Schistosoma mansoni when injected into susceptible snails within 24-hr of exposure to miracidia. However, no additional details on PTR have emerged since the initial 1984 report, nor has the plasma resistance factor been characterized. In the present study, new information is provided on the occurrence of resistance factor in plasma of additional types of snails, effect of “priming” resistant plasma donors by prior exposure to miracidia, duration of PTR, molecular weight of resistance factor, and fate of sporocysts in snails with PTR. Susceptible NIH albino snails injected 24 hr prior to exposure to miracidia with individual samples of plasma from a different strain (Salvador B. glabrata) or a different species (B. obstructa) of nonsusceptible snail displayed infection prevalences of 49% or 59% of control levels, respectively, whereas injections of homologous plasma had no effect. PTR was not enhanced by prior exposure of resistant Salvador plasma donors to miracidia. Unexpectedly, PTR induced by injections of Salvador plasma persisted for at least 21 days. The molecular weight of the resistance factor(s) was between 10 and 30 kDa, based on results of centrifugal ultrafiltration. A significantly higher proportion of dead sporocysts occurred in histological sections of tentacles from snails injected with Salvador plasma than in tentacles of snails injected with NIH albino plasma at 7 days postexposure to miracidia. Most dead sporocysts in Salvador plasma-injected snails were undergoing gradual degeneration, rather than rapid, hemocyte-mediated destruction, as occurred in Salvador snails.
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