Future prospects and challenges of vaccines against filariasis.

Simon A Babayan, J E Allen, D W Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Filarial infections remain a major public health and socio-economic problem across the tropics, despite considerable effort to reduce disease burden or regionally eliminate the infection with mass drug administration programmes. The sustainability of these programmes is now open to question owing to a range of issues, not least of which is emerging evidence for drug resistance. Vaccination, if developed appropriately, remains the most cost-effective means of long-term disease control. The rationale for the feasibility of vaccination against filarial parasites including onchocerciasis (river blindness, Onchocerca volvulus) and lymphatic filariasis (Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi) is founded on evidence from both humans and animal models for the development of protective immunity. Nonetheless, enormous challenges need to be faced in terms of overcoming parasite-induced suppression without inducing pathology as well as the need to both recognize and tackle evolutionary and ecological obstacles to successful vaccine development. Nonetheless, new technological advances in addition to systems biology approaches offer hope that optimal immune responses can be induced that will prevent infection, disease and/or transmission.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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