Biology and Epidemiology

Biology and Epidemiology of Filarial Nematodes

This page connects to a series of documents describing the biology and distribution of some of the more common and well characterized filarial nematodes. Clicking on the highlighted species names or images in the lists below will take you to a page divoted to that particular organism.
To browse a taxonomically arranged filarial species list, go here.

Call for Authors and Comments

Please pass comment on these pages. They are intended as a resource for helping non-filariologists, monospecific filariologists and those of us who just plain forget ("What is the structure of Suramin?", "What IS the vector for Dracunculus?"). They will only work if all the errors are cleared up, and lots of new information is added... Post your comments to me.

Human Parasites

Several species of filarial nematodes are known to infect humans. Not all cause disease but they include the causative agents of river blindness and elephantiasis.

  • Wuchereria bancrofti

  • Brugia malayi

  • Brugia timori

  • Onchocerca volvulus

  • Loa loa

  • Dracunculus medinensis

  • Mansonella streptocerca

  • Mansonella perstans

  • Mansonella ozzardi

    Other filaria infecting humans (minor species)

  • Wuchereria lewisi

  • Brugia beaveri

  • Brugia guyanensis

  • Mansonella semiclarum

  • Dipetalonema arbuta

  • Dipetalonema sprenti

  • Microfilaria bolivarensis

  • Microfilaria (Mansonella) rodhaini


    Animal Parasites That Can Infect Man:

    Some species of filarial nematodes can occasionally infect humans as well as their animal hosts.
  • Dirofilaria immitis

  • Meningonema peruzzi

  • Setaria equina

  • Dirofilaria repens

  • Dirofilaria spectans

  • Dirofilaria striata

  • Dirofilaria tenuis

  • Dirofilaria ursi


    Animal Parasites

    These filarial nematodes and their animal hosts are used as models for studies on the biology of human infection and in the search for better drugs or immunoprophylactic vaccines. Dirofilariasis, caused by D. immitis, is a serious disease of domestic dogs.

  • Acanthocheilonema viteae

  • Brugia pahangi

  • Litomosoides carinii

  • Dirofilaria immitis


    See The Mosquito Genomics WWW Server at Colorado State University for genome-related information on mosquito vectors of filariases.
  • Back to the Biology of Filarial Nematodes Page
  • Back to the Pathology of Filarial Infection Page
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    last modified 01/01/96