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MeSH Review


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Disease relevance of Filariasis


High impact information on Filariasis

  • Although introduced in 1947, the mainstay of the therapy and control of the filariases is diethylcarbamazine (N,N-diethyl-4-methyl-1-piperazine carboxamide; DEC), the mode of action of which still remains unknown despite widespread use and intensive laboratory investigations [6].
  • Since efficacy and side effects of ivermectin therapy compare favorably with those reported for treatment with the standard antifilarial drug diethylcarbamazine citrate, the major advantage of single-oral-dose administration makes ivermectin the best candidate to replace diethylcarbamazine as the treatment of choice for bancroftian filariasis [7].
  • Protective immunity in bancroftian filariasis. Selective recognition of a 43-kD larval stage antigen by infection-free individuals in an endemic area [8].
  • We evaluated the cellular immune competence of 101 subjects living in an area of South Kalimantan (Borneo) where Malayan filariasis is endemic [9].
  • The diminished expression and function of TLR is thus a likely consequence of chronic Ag stimulation and could serve as a novel mechanism underlying the dysfunctional immune response in filariasis [10].

Chemical compound and disease context of Filariasis

  • The majority of residents of the village of Bonahoi, in an area where transmission of filariasis had been interrupted by a 20-year insecticide spray program to control malaria, showed no parasitologic signs of active W. bancrofti infection and were negative for both circulating phosphorylcholine Ag and peripheral blood microfilariae [11].
  • First, specific antifilarial antibodies of each of the four IgG subclasses were quantified in the sera of 28 patients with Bancroftian filariasis and correlated with the levels of blocking activity in these sera (determined by histamine release assays) [12].
  • Wellcome Filariasis seminar '85 [13].
  • Furthermore, since chloroquine is well-tolerated but only weakly filaricidal in vivo, the data indicate that use of this drug in combination with other inhibitors of aerobic energy metabolism may be a chemotherapeutically useful approach to the treatment of filariases [14].
  • Monoclonal MG3C9-1 A12 detected TCR-related proteins specific for filarial extract, milk proteins, or benzoic acid in the sera of individuals with chronic or asymptomatic filariasis, milk intolerance, or sensitivity to toluene, respectively [15].

Biological context of Filariasis


Anatomical context of Filariasis


Gene context of Filariasis

  • Interleukin-10 (IL-10) counterregulates IL-4-dependent effector mechanisms in Murine Filariasis [25].
  • Synergism of gamma interferon and interleukin-5 in the control of murine filariasis [26].
  • Recently, data gathered from humans as well as from immunocompromised mouse models suggest that filariasis elicits a complex host immune response involving both Th1 and Th2 components [27].
  • Sustained production of IL-4 and IL-5 beyond the first 24 h of stimulation and production of interferon-gamma were seen only in the group with clinical filariasis without active infection [28].
  • When the asymptomatic microfilaremic individuals and antigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis were grouped together to constitute all actively infected individuals, the frequency of IFN-gamma-producing cells was also lower than in the nonantigenemic individuals with clinical filariasis (P = 0.04) [29].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Filariasis

  • Human autoantibody responses to the ocular antigen were demonstrated by Western blot analysis using sera collected from persons with onchocerciasis, with and without posterior segment pathology, Bancroftian filariasis, and Europeans with no filarial infection [30].
  • Mass chemotherapy with diethylcarbamazine for the control of Bancroftian filariasis: a twelve-year follow-up in northern Trinidad, including observations on Mansonella ozzardi [31].
  • Parasite antigens in sera and urine of patients with bancroftian and brugian filariasis detected by sandwich ELISA with monoclonal antibodies [32].
  • Five hundred and twenty-nine sera obtained from people dwelling in an area endemic for bancroftian filariasis were analysed for the presence of soluble circulating antigens (SCA) of filarial origin by counter immunoelectrophoresis and 303 were found positive [33].
  • In order to assess the immunodiagnostic utility of FST skin test antigen purified from Dirofilaria immitis, skin test responses were analyzed in 177 inhabitants of a South Pacific island hyperendemic for Wuchereria bancrofti filariasis [34].


  1. Parasite-specific anergy in human filariasis. Insights after analysis of parasite antigen-driven lymphokine production. Nutman, T.B., Kumaraswami, V., Ottesen, E.A. J. Clin. Invest. (1987) [Pubmed]
  2. Autoimmunity and filariasis. Autoantibodies against cytoplasmic cellular proteins in sera of patients with onchocerciasis. Meilof, J.F., Van der Lelij, A., Rokeach, L.A., Hoch, S.O., Smeenk, R.J. J. Immunol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  3. Eosinophilia following treatment of patients with schistosomiasis mansoni and Bancroft's filariasis. Ottesen, E.A., Weller, P.F. J. Infect. Dis. (1979) [Pubmed]
  4. Elevated immunoglobulin E against recombinant Brugia malayi gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in patients with bancroftian filariasis: association with tropical pulmonary eosinophilia or putative immunity. Lobos, E., Nutman, T.B., Hothersall, J.S., Moncada, S. Infect. Immun. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Anthelmintics. Current concepts in the treatment of helminthic infections. Katz, M. Drugs (1986) [Pubmed]
  6. Platelets mediate the action of diethylcarbamazine on microfilariae. Cesbron, J.Y., Capron, A., Vargaftig, B.B., Lagarde, M., Pincemail, J., Braquet, P., Taelman, H., Joseph, M. Nature (1987) [Pubmed]
  7. Ivermectin for the treatment of Wuchereria bancrofti filariasis. Efficacy and adverse reactions. Kumaraswami, V., Ottesen, E.A., Vijayasekaran, V., Devi, U., Swaminathan, M., Aziz, M.A., Sarma, G.R., Prabhakar, R., Tripathy, S.P. JAMA (1988) [Pubmed]
  8. Protective immunity in bancroftian filariasis. Selective recognition of a 43-kD larval stage antigen by infection-free individuals in an endemic area. Freedman, D.O., Nutman, T.B., Ottesen, E.A. J. Clin. Invest. (1989) [Pubmed]
  9. Immune responses in human infections with Brugia malayi: specific cellular unresponsiveness to filarial antigens. Piessens, W.F., McGreevy, P.B., Piessens, P.W., McGreevy, M., Koiman, I., Saroso, J.S., Dennis, D.T. J. Clin. Invest. (1980) [Pubmed]
  10. Diminished expression and function of TLR in lymphatic filariasis: a novel mechanism of immune dysregulation. Babu, S., Blauvelt, C.P., Kumaraswami, V., Nutman, T.B. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. Filarial-specific IgG4 response correlates with active Wuchereria bancrofti infection. Kwan-Lim, G.E., Forsyth, K.P., Maizels, R.M. J. Immunol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  12. Control of allergic reactivity in human filariasis. Predominant localization of blocking antibody to the IgG4 subclass. Hussain, R., Poindexter, R.W., Ottesen, E.A. J. Immunol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  13. Wellcome Filariasis seminar '85. Goodwin, L.G. Parasitol. Today (Regul. Ed.) (1986) [Pubmed]
  14. Effects of intermediary metabolites and electron transport inhibitors on action of chloroquine on Brugia pahangi and Onchocerca volvulus. VandeWaa, E.A., Williams, J.F., Geary, T.G. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  15. Detection of antigen-specific human serum proteins related to the T-cell receptor in infectious disease and in an immune response to milk proteins or chemicals. Little, C.H., Georgiou, G.M., Fey, G., Ravindran, B., Levine, J., Ogedegbe, H., Yamase, H., Cone, R.E. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. (2000) [Pubmed]
  16. Kinetics of circulating human IgG4 after diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin treatment of bancroftian filariasis. Wamae, C.N., Roberts, J.M., Eberhard, M.L., Lammie, P.J. J. Infect. Dis. (1992) [Pubmed]
  17. Polymorphisms of innate immunity genes and susceptibility to lymphatic filariasis. Hise, A.G., Hazlett, F.E., Bockarie, M.J., Zimmerman, P.A., Tisch, D.J., Kazura, J.W. Genes Immun. (2003) [Pubmed]
  18. Epidemiology of subperiodic bancroftian filariasis in Samoa 8 years after control by mass treatment with diethylcarbamazine. Kimura, E., Penaia, L., Spears, G.F. Bull. World Health Organ. (1985) [Pubmed]
  19. Current status of filariasis in Malaysia. Marzhuki, M.I., Tham, A.S., Poovaneswari, S. Southeast Asian J. Trop. Med. Public Health (1993) [Pubmed]
  20. Experimental filariasis of Dipetalonema dessetae in Proechimys oris: 3. Effects of parasitism on the pharmacokinetics of diethylcarbamazine. Kani, F., Gayral, P., Pfaff-Dessales, M.C., Mahuzier, G., Jacquot, C., Auget, J.L. European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. (1983) [Pubmed]
  21. Requirement for in vivo production of IL-4, but not IL-10, in the induction of proliferative suppression by filarial parasites. MacDonald, A.S., Maizels, R.M., Lawrence, R.A., Dransfield, I., Allen, J.E. J. Immunol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  22. Removal of regulatory T cell activity reverses hyporesponsiveness and leads to filarial parasite clearance in vivo. Taylor, M.D., LeGoff, L., Harris, A., Malone, E., Allen, J.E., Maizels, R.M. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  23. Increase in natural killer cell activity during diethylcarbamazine treatment of patients with filariasis. Pedersen, B.K., Bygbjerg, I.C., Svenson, M. Acta Trop. (1987) [Pubmed]
  24. Immune proteins in peripheral tissue fluid-lymph in patients with filarial lymphedema of the lower limbs. Olszewski, W.L., Jamal, S., Lukomska, B., Manokaran, G., Grzelak, I. Lymphology. (1992) [Pubmed]
  25. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) counterregulates IL-4-dependent effector mechanisms in Murine Filariasis. Specht, S., Volkmann, L., Wynn, T., Hoerauf, A. Infect. Immun. (2004) [Pubmed]
  26. Synergism of gamma interferon and interleukin-5 in the control of murine filariasis. Saeftel, M., Arndt, M., Specht, S., Volkmann, L., Hoerauf, A. Infect. Immun. (2003) [Pubmed]
  27. Infection outcome and cytokine gene expression in Brugia pahangi- infected gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) sensitized with Brucella abortus. Chirgwin, S.R., Elzer, P.H., Coleman, S.U., Nowling, J.M., Hagius, S.D., Edmonds, M.D., Klei, T.R. Infect. Immun. (2002) [Pubmed]
  28. The presence or absence of active infection, not clinical status, is most closely associated with cytokine responses in lymphatic filariasis. de Almeida, A.B., Maia e Silva, M.C., Maciel, M.A., Freedman, D.O. J. Infect. Dis. (1996) [Pubmed]
  29. Differences in the frequency of cytokine-producing cells in antigenemic and nonantigenemic individuals with bancroftian filariasis. de Almeida, A.B., Silva, M.C., Braga, C., Freedman, D.O. Infect. Immun. (1998) [Pubmed]
  30. Immunologic cross-reactivity in the pathogenesis of ocular onchocerciasis. McKechnie, N.M., Braun, G., Connor, V., Kläger, S., Taylor, D.W., Alexander, R.A., Gilbert, C.E. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (1993) [Pubmed]
  31. Mass chemotherapy with diethylcarbamazine for the control of Bancroftian filariasis: a twelve-year follow-up in northern Trinidad, including observations on Mansonella ozzardi. Chadee, D.D., Tilluckdharry, C.C., Rawlins, S.C., Doon, R., Nathan, M.B. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. (1995) [Pubmed]
  32. Parasite antigens in sera and urine of patients with bancroftian and brugian filariasis detected by sandwich ELISA with monoclonal antibodies. Zheng, H.J., Tao, Z.H., Reddy, M.V., Harinath, B.C., Piessens, W.F. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. (1987) [Pubmed]
  33. Lymphatic filariasis in man: demonstration of circulating antigens in Wuchereria bancrofti infection. Dasgupta, A., Bala, S., Dutta, S.N. Parasite Immunol. (1984) [Pubmed]
  34. Immediate and delayed hypersensitivity skin test responses to the Dirofilaria immitis filarial skin test (Sawada) antigen in Wuchereria bancrofti filariasis. Weller, P.F., Ottesen, E.A., Heck, L. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. (1980) [Pubmed]
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