Open Access Research article

Soluble egg antigen of Schistosoma Haematobium induces HCV replication in PBMC from patients with chronic HCV infection

Mostafa K El-Awady1*, Samar S Youssef1, Moataza H Omran1, Ashraf A Tabll1, Wael T El Garf1 and Ahmed M Salem2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Technology, National Research Center,, El tahrir St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt

2 Department of biochemistry, Ain Shams University, El Abassia Sq., Cairo, Egypt

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:91  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-91

Published: 6 June 2006



This study was conducted to examine, in vitro , the effect of soluble egg antigen (SEA) of

    S. haematobium
on intracellular HCV RNA load in peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMC) as well as on cell proliferation in patients with chronic HCV infection.


PBMC from 26 patients with chronic HCV infection were cultured for 72 hours in presence and absence of 50 μg SEA/ml medium. Intracellular HCV RNA quantification of plus and minus strands was assessed before and after stimulation. PBMC from five healthy subjects were cultured for 7 days, flow cytometric analysis of DNA content was used to assess the mitogenic effect of SEA on PBMC proliferation compared to phytoheamaglutinine (PHA).


Quantification of the intracellular viral load showed increased copy number/cell of both or either viral strands after induction with SEA in 18 of 26 patients (69.2%) thus indicating stimulation of viral replication. Flow cytometric analysis showed that mean ± S.D. of percent values of cell proliferation was induced from 3.2 ± 1.5% in un-stimulated cells to 16.7 ± 2.5 % and 16.84 ± 1.7 % in cells stimulated with PHA and SEA respectively.


the present study supports earlier reports on SEA proliferative activity on PBMC and provides a strong evidence that the higher morbidity observed in patients co-infected with schistosomiasis and HCV is related, at least in part, to direct stimulation of viral replication by SEA.