We investigated the activity of artemether (ART) against different developmental stages of schistosomes alone and in addition to praziquantel (PZQ). ART was administered orally (400 mg/kg) 4 and 6 wk postinfection (PI), 4 and 5 wk PI, or 4 or 6 wk PI alone and in addition to oral PZQ (500 × 2 mg/kg) 6 wk PI. Mice were killed in parallel to infected untreated controls 8 wk PI. Parasitological parameters and histological changes in the liver were studied. ART given 4 and 6 wk PI reduced worm burdens by 59 and 55% and tissue egg load by 96 and 90%, respectively. Moreover, eggs in different developmental stages were not found. The reduction in worm and egg burden (63 and 58%, and 96 and 99%, respectively) in mice treated with ART 4 and 5 wk or 4 and 6 wk PI was comparable with that in ART-treated mice at 4 or 6 wk PI. Compared with PZQ alone, combined treatment of PZQ and ART (4 and 5 wk or 4 and 6 wk PI) did not enhance worm eradication, but there was a complete absence of parasite eggs. Livers revealed no granulomata when ART was given 4 and 5 wk or 4 and 6 wk PI, with minimal central necrosis in those treated 4 and 6 wk PI. In conclusion, combined treatment of ART (4 and 6 wk PI) and PZQ resulted in >90% worm eradication and amelioration of Schistosoma mansoni eggs from the tissues, with minor histological changes in the liver.
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