Malnutrition hampers the course of schistosomiasis mansoni infection just as normal growth of adult worms. A comparative morphometric study on adult specimens (male and female) recovered from undernourished (fed with a low protein diet - regional basic diet) and nourished (rodent commercial laboratory food, NUVILAB) white mice was performed. Tomographic images and morphometric analysis of the oral and ventral suckers, reproductive system and tegument were obtained by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy. Undernourished male specimens presented smaller morphometric values (length and width) of the reproductive system (first, third and last testicular lobes) and thickness of the tegument than controls. Besides that, it was demonstrated that the dorsal surface of the male worms bears large tubercles unevenly distributed, but kept grouped and flat. At the subtegumental region, vacuolated areas were detected.
It was concluded that the inadequate nutritional status of the vertebrate host has a negative influence mainly in the reproductive system and topographical somatic development of male adult Schistosoma mansoni
, inducing some alterations on the structure of the parasite.