Future prospects and challenges of vaccines against filariasis

Simon A Babayan, Judith E Allen, David W Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 programs. The sustainability of these programs is now open to question due 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 both from 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 recognise 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
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalParasite Immunology
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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