Volume 65, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A population from the Wuchereria bancrofti-endemic island of Mauke was reevaluated retrospectively by use of the Og4C3 circulating antigen (CAg) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to assess active infection in relation to host responses by age and gender. Use of microfilaremia (Mf) alone misclassified approximately 50% of infected people, although CAg and Mf levels were positively correlated. Levels of CAg peaked between those aged 31-60 years; men aged > 60 years had a significantly higher CAg prevalence (> 90%) than women. Filaria-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) G4 reached maximum levels in both genders at age 51-60 years. By analysis of variance, both age and gender significantly influenced CAg and IgG4, with men having higher levels of both in the total population. Individuals positive for CAg had significantly lower lymphocyte proliferation responses to parasite antigen than did CAg-negative people, regardless of clinical status. This study reemphasizes the importance of CAg measurements for accurately assessing filarial prevalence and clinical status and demonstrates the relationship between active infection and immune responsiveness.


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