Genetic Diversity, Molecular Markers, and Population Genetics of Human Lymphatic Filarial Parasites

  • S. L. Hoti
  • R. Dhamodharan


One of the most disfiguring diseases is lymphatic filariasis (LF) which is a major public health problem in tropical world. The disease is caused majorly by Wuchereria bancrofti and to smaller extent by Brugia malayi and B. timori. It is transmitted by mosquito vectors belonging to genera Culex, Anopheles, Aedes, and/or Mansonia. Currently, LF is targeted for elimination with mass drug administration of a combination of diethylcarbamazine/ivermectin and albendazole as a tool. Several rounds of MDA have already been administered in endemic communities, and questions have arisen pertaining to the continuance of parasite prevalence in some areas despite repeated rounds of MDA. This could be due to variations in the parasite strains that may not be responding to the anti-filarial drug administered. These variations could be the result of various factors such as geographic isolation, infra-population or refugia, environmental factors, and drug pressure. The long-term administration of the drug in the elimination program itself might have led to this phenomenon, or wide geographic distribution spanning continents might have affected variation. Investigating genetic variations among these variants may reveal the differential response to the anti-filarial drugs, and such studies are important for devising the drug administration strategies. In summary, there is a need to understand the genetic variation among the parasite populations in different LF endemic areas for which there is a need to develop appropriate markers. This review discusses the biological, physiological, and genetic variations among LF parasites.



Author Ramasamy Dhamodharan is recipient of BK21 Plus Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, South Korea.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. L. Hoti
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Dhamodharan
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR)BelgaumIndia
  2. 2.Vector Control Research Centre (ICMR)PuducherryIndia
  3. 3.Behavioral and Population Ecology Lab, Department of Biological SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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