Caused by infection with major nematode parasite Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi, lymphatic filariasis continues to be the major cause of clinical morbidity in tropical and subtropical countries.


Elephantiasis                                   Hydrocele

Though it is never directly fatal, it is a debilitating disease with acute and occult forms of the disease causing severe physical suffering and the chronic form resulting in disfigurement. The psychosocial problems and reduced economic output makes it a major socio-economic impediment in the affected population.


W.bancrofti  micro fialria in night blood smear

The precise diagnosis of filariasis is presently based on the demonstration of parasites in night blood. The parasitological examination of night blood however is inconvenient and not sensitive to detect low microfilaraemia.  Further, microfilarial are not normally seen in peripheral blood in acute and chronic infections as well as occult filarial infections. Most of the clinicians rely on their clinical acumen in the diagnosis of clinical filariasis.

Sevafilachek (IgG & Ag assay), dipstick based enzyme immunoassays have been developed at this institute using penicillinase enzyme, microfilarial antigen and filarial antibodies to detect active filarial infection in different clinical groups. The test systems show a sensitivity and specificity of about 80%. They are also found to be useful for immunomonitoring of clinical filarial cases to determine the optimal period of DEC (OpDEC) therapy for clinical relief and cure. The tests are particularly useful in the effective management of acute and atypical manifestations like minimal hydrocele, epididymo-orchitis, lymphangitis, lymphandenitis, pain and swelling in limbs and joints in adults and asthmatic bronchitis, pulmonary eosinophilia, monoarthritis and recurrent URI in children.

            An anti-filarial vaccine will be an effective additional adjunct in the integrated control of this infection. We have identified three purified B. malayi filarial antigens i.e., a 120 kDa BmA2 (from adult worms) and  45 kDa ESF-5 and  200 kDa SF-1 from microfilaria as protective immunogens based on their high reactivity with ‘putatively immune’ endemic normals and confirmed their ability to induce protective immunity using jird as filarial animal model. While BmA2 and ESF-5 were found to have potential as vaccine candidates for immuno-prophylaxis, SF-1 was found to be helpful in blocking filaria transmission in community.

Supplies and Services of Repository for Filarial 

Parasites &  Reagents, MGIMS,  Sevagram

1)    SEVAFILACHEK based IgG and antigen assay systems have been found to be useful for detecting filariasis using day blood samples.

2)    Some imported kits ICT and Trop bio kits are useful in detecting carriers but not filaria disease cases.

3)   SEVAFILACHEK in addition to detecting carriers has been found to be useful in confirming filaria aetiology in acute, chronic and occult filarial infected cases in adults and children coming to the hospital with clinical problems.

 4)   Prototype SEVAFILACHEK kits are being used and found useful in management of filarial patients at Calicut, Bilaspur, Rourkela, Hosur, Bubaneswar and Chennai.

5)Filter paper blood samples are routinely received from different places namely Allepi, Thiruvannanthapuram, Coimbatore, Periyar, Vellore, Cuddapah, Vijaywada, Hyderabad, Chandrapur, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Aligarh and Delhi for filarial diagnosis.