Some unfavourable effects of malnutrition of the host on Schistosoma mansoni
worm biology and structure have been reported based upon brigthfield microscopy. This paper aims to study by morphometric techniques, some morphological parameters in male and female adult worms recovered from undernourished albino mice in comparison with parasites recovered from well-fed infected mice. Undernourished animals were fed a multideficient and essentially low protein diet (RBD diet) and compared to well-fed control mice fed with the commercial diet NUVILAB. Seventy-five days post-infection with 80 cercarie (BL strain) animals were sacrificed. All adult worms were fixed in 10% formalin and stained with carmine chloride. One hundred male and 60 female specimens from each group (undernourished and control) were examined using an image system analysis Leica Quantimet 500C and the Sigma Scan Measurement System. The following morphometrical parameters were studied: body length and width, oral and ventral suckers, number and area of testicular lobes, length and width of ovary and uterine egg. For statistical analysis, the Student's t test for unpaired samples was applied. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were detected in body length and width, in parameters of suckers, uterine egg width, ovary length and area of testicular lobes, with lower values for specimens from undernourished mice. The nutritional status of the host has negative influence on S. mansoni
adult worms, probably through unavailability of essential nutrients to the parasites.