Volume 70, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The influence of host genes on the distribution of lymphedema due to lymphatic filariasis is unknown. To assess this, pedigree and disease information were collected from lymphedema patients in a lymphatic filariasis-endemic area. These patients were female, with an average age of approximately 40 years, who were enrolled between June 1995 and July 1999 in a lymphedema treatment clinic, and from the rural Haitian community served by the clinic. Interviews were conducted between September 1998 and December 1999. Families with multiple lymphedema cases were of similar size, with an average of 15 members, as those families with only a single lymphedema case. We determined whether families observed to have multiple lymphedema cases had a higher prevalence of lymphedema than expected when stratified population estimates and family size were considered. Lymphedema of the leg was excessive in 15 of 43 families with multiple lymphedema cases. The number of families demonstrating excess disease was significantly different than was expected based on population estimates of lymphedema prevalence ( = 0.026). Families with multiple cases of lymphedema were not significantly larger in family size than families with a single lymphedema cases. Twelve of the 15 families had a male with lymphedema, which influenced the interpretation of the results. The significance of these results is discussed.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Addiss DG, Dimock KA, Eberhard ML, Lammie PJ, 1995. Clinical, parasitologic, and immunologic observations of patients with hydrocele and elephantiasis in an area with endemic lymphatic filariasis. J Infect Dis 171 : 755–758. [Google Scholar]
  2. Baird JB, Lammie PJ, Louis Charles J, Streit TG, Roberts JM, Addiss DG, 2002. Reactivity to bacterial, fungal, and parasite antigens in patients with lymphedema and elephantiasis. Am J Trop Med Hyg 66 : 163–169. [Google Scholar]
  3. Dunyo SK, Appawu M, Nkrumah FK, Baffoe-Wilmot A, Pederson EM, Simonsen PE, 1996. Lymphatic filariasis on the coast of Ghana. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 90 : 634–638. [Google Scholar]
  4. Kazura J, Bockarie M, Alexander N, Perry R, Bockarie F, Dagoro H, Dimber Z, Hyun P, Alpers MP, 1997. Transmission intensity and its relationship to infection and disease due to Wuchereria bancrofti in Papua New Guinea. J Infect Dis 176 : 242–246. [Google Scholar]
  5. Lammie PJ, Addiss DG, Leonard G, Hightower AW, Eberhard ML, 1993. Heterogeneity in filarial-specific immune responsiveness among patients with lymphatic obstruction. J Infect Dis 167 : 1178–1183. [Google Scholar]
  6. Terhell AJ, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ, Ruiterman Y, Haarbrink M, Abadi K, Yazdanbakhsh M, 2000. Clustering of Brugia malayi infection in a community in South-Sulawsi, Indonesia. Parasitology 120 : 23–29. [Google Scholar]
  7. Lammie PJ, Hitch WL, Walker EM, Hightower AW, Eberhard ML, 1991. Maternal filarial infection as risk factor for infection in children. Lancet 337 : 1005–1006. [Google Scholar]
  8. Chakraborty R, Weiss KM, Majumder PP, Strong LC, Herson J, 1984. A method to detect excess risk of disease in structured data: cancer in relatives of retinoblastoma patients. Genet Epidemiol 1 : 229–244. [Google Scholar]
  9. Cuenco KT, Halloran ME, Charles JL, Lammie PJ, 2004. A family study of lymphedema of the leg in a lymphatic filariasis-endemic area. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70 : (in press). [Google Scholar]
  10. Hightower AW, Lammie PJ, Eberhard ML, 1993. Maternal filarial infection—A persistent risk factor for microfilaremia in offspring? Parasitol Today 9 : 418–421. [Google Scholar]
  11. Michael E, Grenfell BT, Bundy DA, 1994. The association between microfilaraemia and disease in lymphatic filariasis. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 256 : 33–40. [Google Scholar]
  12. Yazdanbakhsh M, Sartono E, Kruize YCM, Kurniawan A, Partono F, Maizels RM, Schreuder GMT, Schipper R, de Vries RRP, 1995. HLA and elephantiasis in lymphatic filariasis. Hum Immunol 44 : 58–61. [Google Scholar]
  13. Ottesen EA, Mendell NR, MacQueen JM, Weller PF, Amos DB, Ward FE, 1981. Familial predisposition to filarial infection—not linked to HLA-A or B specificities. Acta Trop 38 : 205–216. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 23 Mar 2003
  • Accepted : 06 Nov 2003

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error