PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Lymphatic filariasis is a disabling and disfiguring disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted by a mosquito. The life cycle of the parasite requires two hosts: the mosquito vector and the human host. Part of the developmental life cycle of the parasite occurs in the mosquito and the other part in the human host. The parasite develops through four stages in the mosquito, only the last of which is infectious to humans. The third larval stage (L3) is the infective stage that initiates human infections when infective mosquitoes bite humans. There is currently a global program attempting to eliminate this disease by administering drugs to affected communities with the goal of interrupting transmission of the parasite. The new diagnostic tool described in this paper uses molecular techniques to specifically detect the infective stage of the parasite in mosquitoes. Many mosquitoes can be tested at one time to assess the risk of ongoing transmission of filariasis in communities. In addition, this new L3-detection assay can simultaneously detect whether the mosquitoes contain ‘any-stage’ of the parasite. This provides information on infection rates in humans in the community. Both pieces of information can be used in assessing the progress of disease elimination efforts.
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Laney, Sandra J.; Ramzy, Reda M.R.; Helmy, Hanan H.; Farid, Hoda A.; Ashour, Ameen A.; Weil, Gary J.; and Williams, Steven A., "Detection of Wuchereria bancrofti L3 Larvae in Mosquitoes: A Reverse Transcriptase PCR Assay Evaluating Infection and Infectivity" (2010). Biological Sciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.