Filariasis then

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  • Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
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What was the status of filariasis research in the mid-1950s and early 1960s? Rather than an exhaustive account, I have chosen to examine this question, because of the theme of our program, from the standpoint of those research activities that related to the interests and research initiatives in Paul Beaver's, his students', and his colleagues' laboratories at Tulane. When one peruses the literature of that period or examines, for example, the early WHO Expert Committee Reports, one sees that filariasis research was still very much in a descriptive mode.

Schemes for the control of the lymphatic filariae were being re-evaluated in light of recent experiences in various endemic regions. Investigators were encouraged to develop strategies for the control of lymphatic filariasis employing mass treatment of the population combined with effective vector control measures. There was a perceived need for more detailed knowledge of the ecology of vector species and for a better understanding of the dynamics of natural filaria transmission.