Lymphatic Filariasis is transmitted via mosquitoes and is caused by either of the following parasitic worms: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, or Brugia timori. When lymphatic filariasis develops into chronic conditions, it leads to lymphoedema (tissue swelling) or elephantiasis (skin/tissue thickening) of limbs and hydrocele (scrotal swelling). Involvement of breasts and genital organs is common. Such body deformities lead to social stigma, as well as financial hardship from loss of income and increased medical expenses. The socioeconomic burdens of isolation and poverty are immense. 73 countries affected, 120 million people infected, and 40 million incapacitated by the disease. http://www.who.int/lymphatic_filariasis/en/
The Filarial Programmes Support Unit at LSTM supports colleagues in endemic countries with their progress towards successful elimination of filarial diseases
LSTM also hosts the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF). Vector control is pivotal to the elimination strategy and LSTM’s research on the behaviour, physiology and ecology of the vectors is underpinning these efforts.