Volume 78, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To investigate whether Australian soldiers were exposed to filarial parasites that cause lymphatic filariasis during a 6-month deployment to Timor-Leste, antifilarial antibody levels were measured in 907 soldiers using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Initial testing using antigen demonstrated that 49 of 907 (5.4%) soldiers developed antifilarial antibodies of the IgG1 subclass after deployment, whereas 1 of 944 (0.1%) seroconverted to the IgG4 subclass. When a sub sample of 88 -reactive sera was subject to testing with an antifilarial antibody test using antigen, 46 had elevated IgG antibodies, whereas 5 had elevated antibodies of the IgG4 subclass. A total of 24 soldiers seroconverted to , as measured by parasite-specific IgG, whereas 1 seroconverted to IgG4. The relatively low number of seroconversions indicates a low but measurable risk of exposure to human filarial parasites among Australian soldiers deployed to Timor-Leste. However, to reduce the risk of exposure to these parasites, soldiers deploying to endemic areas should practice strict adherence to personal protective measures against mosquito bites.


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  • Received : 18 Jan 2007
  • Accepted : 18 Jan 2008

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