The present study was undertaken to investigate the pathological changes in the liver of the dipodil Dipodillus dasyurus dasyurus of the order Rodentia, Family Cricetidae due to Schistosoma mansoni infection. Animals were individually exposed to 90 - 100 S. mansoni cercariae of Egyptian strain by the tail immersion technique. The pathological changes at autopsy 10 weeks post infection were evaluated by determination of the liver and spleen relative weights, hepatic granuloma volume, and biochemical assay of hepatic dysfunction. For comparison, Mus Musculus, the laboratory permissive host, was used. The current results showed a significant increase in the relative liver and spleen weights of infected dipodils as compared with normal ones. Typical granulomatous reaction was observed in infected rodents. Granulomas from the dipodil (50.4 ± 23.3 µm3) were significantly smaller than those of the mouse (111.3 ± 69.1 µm3). Furthermore, S. mansoni infection caused marked hepatic dysfunction, as manifested by the decrease in the enzymatic activity of liver cholinesterase, arginase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase, in addition to the decrease in the liver contents of potassium and total protein. The results also demonstrated a decrease in the levels of serum albumin and urea. Nonetheless, the liver contents of sodium and total lipids were elevated in response to the infection. In conclusion, D. d. dasyurus, compared with the laboratory definitive host Mus Musculus, tolerates well S. mansoni infection and is a potential maintenance host of S. mansoni.
: Dipodillus dasyurus dasyurus, Schistosoma mansoni, hepatic dysfunction