Lymphatic filariasis vaccine development: neglected for how long?

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Oct 11. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2021.1990760. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Lymphatic filariasis (LF), also known as elephantiasis, has been recognized by the world health organization and the centers for disease control and prevention as one of the neglected tropical diseases. The huge prevalence and risk of manifestation to date reflect the poor management of this disease. The disease poses vast public health and socio-economic burdens and generates a dire need for the development of a prophylactic solution for mass administration.

Areas covered: Vaccination has been a sought-out strategy for dealing with ever-evolving infectious diseases and can be duly tuned to become a cost effective means of disease control and eventual eradication. In this review, we highlight the epidemiology of LF with the current diagnosis and treatment modules. The need for the development of a potential vaccine candidates, and challenges are discussed. The evidence presented in this review aims to enlighten the readers regarding the essential factors governing LF and its management using prophylactic measures.

Expert opinion: The complex nature of filarial parasites is evident from the absence of a single vaccine for LF. The development and selection of an appropriate preclinical model and its translation into clinical practice is deemed to be a major task needing in-depth evaluation to formulate an effective vaccine. Explorations of the existing vaccine platforms would serve to be an apt strategy in this direction.

Keywords: Immunity; Infectious Diseases; Lymphatic Filariasis; Parasites; Prophylaxis; Tropical; Vaccine.