oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Role of Schistosomiasis in the pathogenesis of glomerular disease in Zimbabweans

Volume 30, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Ninety-eight Zimbabweans presenting with the nephrotic syndrome (NS) were Investigated In an attempt to determine the role, if any, of schistosomiasis in the pathogenesis of their glomerulopathy. Whilst concomitant bilharzia was proved m 55% of patients, the overall incidence amongst nephrotics was not significantly higher (p>0.05) than in healthy controls. Furthermore, imunofluorescence microscopy employing schistosomal antisera failed to reveal the presence of schistosomal antigen in renal biopsy specimens. Circulating schistosomal antigen was however, demonstrated in the serum of approximately one third of cases overall and in approximately half the patients With proliferative glomerulonephiritis (GN). It is concluded that schistosomiasIs plays no primary role in the genesis of glomerulopathy in Zimbabweans, although it remains possible that the presence of circulating parasitic antigens may exacerbate glomerular injury in the course of glomerulonephritogenic infections

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