Genome editing as control tool for filarial infections

Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 May:137:111292. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111292. Epub 2021 Feb 10.


Human filarial infections are vector-borne nematode infections, which include lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, loiasis, and mansonella filariasis. With a high prevalence in developing countries, filarial infections are responsible for some of the most debilitating morbidities and a vicious cycle of poverty and disease. Global initiatives set to eradicate these infections include community mass treatments, vector control, provision of care for morbidity, and search for vaccines. However, there are growing challenges associated with mass treatments, vector control, and antifilarial vaccine development. With the emergence of genome editing tools and successful applications in other infectious diseases, the integration of genetic editing techniques in future control strategies for filarial infections would offer the best option for eliminating filarial infections. In this review, we briefly discuss the mechanisms of the three main genetic editing techniques and explore the potential applications of these powerful tools to control filarial infections.

Keywords: CRISPR; Filariasis; Gene editing; MDA; Vector control; Wolbachia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9 / genetics
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9 / metabolism
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
  • Filariasis / genetics
  • Filariasis / parasitology
  • Filariasis / therapy*
  • Filaricides / therapeutic use
  • Filarioidea / drug effects
  • Filarioidea / genetics*
  • Filarioidea / pathogenicity
  • Gene Editing*
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Protozoan Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Filaricides
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9