Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Stolk, Wilma A. Stone, Chris and de Vlas, Sake J. 2015. Mathematical Models for Neglected Tropical Diseases: Essential Tools for Control and Elimination, Part A.

    Chesnais, Cédric B Missamou, François Pion, Sébastien D Bopda, Jean Louya, Frédéric Majewski, Andrew C Fischer, Peter U Weil, Gary J and Boussinesq, Michel 2014. A case study of risk factors for lymphatic filariasis in the Republic of Congo. Parasites & Vectors, Vol. 7, Issue. 1, p. 300.

    Basáñez, María-Gloria French, Michael D. Walker, Martin and Churcher, Thomas S. 2012. Paradigm lost: how parasite control may alter pattern and process in human helminthiases. Trends in Parasitology, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 161.

    Díaz-Menéndez, Marta Norman, Francesca Monge-Maillo, Begoña Antonio Pérez-Molina, José and López-Vélez, Rogelio 2011. Las filariasis en la práctica clínica. Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica, Vol. 29, p. 27.

    Foo, Patricia K. Tarozzi, Alessandro Mahajan, Aprajit Yoong, Joanne Krishnan, Lakshmi Kopf, Daniel and Blackburn, Brian G. 2011. High prevalence of Wuchereria bancrofti infection as detected by immunochromatographic card testing in five districts of Orissa, India, previously considered to be non-endemic. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 105, Issue. 2, p. 109.

    Taylor, Mark J Hoerauf, Achim and Bockarie, Moses 2010. Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. The Lancet, Vol. 376, Issue. 9747, p. 1175.

    Ramaiah, K.D. Vanamail, P. and Das, P.K. 2007. Changes in Wuchereria bancrofti infection in a highly endemic community following 10 rounds of mass administration of diethylcarbamazine. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 101, Issue. 3, p. 250.


Meta-analysis of age-prevalence patterns in lymphatic filariasis: no decline in microfilaraemia prevalence in older age groups as predicted by models with acquired immunity

  • W. A. STOLK (a1), K. D. RAMAIAH (a2), G. J. VAN OORTMARSSEN (a1), P. K. DAS (a2), J. D. F. HABBEMA (a1) and S. J. DE VLAS (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2004

The role of acquired immunity in lymphatic filariasis is uncertain. Assuming that immunity against new infections develops gradually with accumulated experience of infection, models predict a decline in prevalence after teenage or early adulthood. A strong indication for acquired immunity was found in longitudinal data from Pondicherry, India, where Mf prevalence was highest around the age of 20 and declined thereafter. We reviewed published studies from India and Subsaharan Africa to investigate whether their age-prevalence patterns support the models with acquired immunity. By comparing prevalence levels in 2 adult age groups we tested whether prevalence declined at older age. For India, comparison of age groups 20–39 and 40+ revealed a significant decline in only 6 out of 53 sites, whereas a significant increase occurred more often (10 sites). Comparison of older age groups provided no indication that a decline would start at a later age. Results from Africa were even more striking, with many more significant increases than declines, irrespective of the age groups compared. The occurrence of a decline was not related to the overall Mf prevalence and seems to be a chance finding. We conclude that there is no evidence of a general age-prevalence pattern that would correspond to the acquired immunity models. The Pondicherry study is an exceptional situation that may have guided us in the wrong direction.

Corresponding author
Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 10 4087730/7714. Fax: +31 10 4089449. E-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *