Current practices in the management of lymphatic filariasis

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Jun;7(5):595-605. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.36.


Lymphatic filariasis is a major cause of acute and chronic morbidity in 81 countries. The availability of safe treatment regimens along with rapid diagnostic tools resulted in a global program to eliminate the disease. The two main objectives of the global elimination program are to interrupt transmission of the parasites and to provide care for those with the disease. The strategy for transmission interruption is preventive chemotherapy through mass drug administration. This article reviews the current treatment regimens for lymphatic filariasis and discusses the challenges posed by co-endemicity with other diseases. The role of integrated vector management as a supplementary strategy for mass drug administration and new strategies for treatment and morbidity control through antibiotic targeting of the Wolbachia endosymbionts are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brugia / drug effects
  • Brugia / microbiology
  • Culex / parasitology
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / drug therapy*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / parasitology
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / prevention & control*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / transmission
  • Filaricides / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology
  • Microfilariae / drug effects
  • Wolbachia / drug effects
  • Wuchereria bancrofti / drug effects
  • Wuchereria bancrofti / microbiology


  • Filaricides