Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We initiated a longitudinal study of Bancroftian filariasis to improve understanding of dynamics and risk factors for infection in villages near Cairo, Egypt. Baseline prevalence rates for microfilaremia and filarial antigenemia for 1,853 subjects more than 9 years of age were 7.7% and 11.2%, respectively. Microfilaria counts, antigen levels, and microfilaremia incidence over a 1-year period were all significantly lower in older people. These findings suggest that humans develop partial immunity to Wuchereria bancrofti over time. One-year incidence rates for microfilaremia and antigenemia were 1.8% and 3.1%, respectively. Filarial antigenemia, IgG4 antibody to recombinant antigen BmM14, and household infection were all significant risk factors for microfilaremia incidence. Microfilaria counts and parasite antigen levels were significantly reduced by diethylcarbamazine therapy, but many infected subjects refused treatment, and most treated people were still infected one year later. Incident infections approximately balanced infections lost to produce an apparent state of dynamic equilibrium.


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