Lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and loiasis caused by human filarial nematodes are diseases of tropical and subtropical countries causing considerable morbidity. The available control strategies have significant limitations such that current drugs are ineffective against macrofilariae (adult worms), require repeated and prolonged treatment over years and are threatened by emergence of drug resistance. Due to this concern, these diseases are the focus of renewed scientific interest and much has been done in filariasis research in the past decade. This review summarizes the current status of filariasis, different control strategies, recent advances in antifilarial chemotherapy including currently used drugs, their pros and cons, their mechanism of action, and recently discovered targets and prototypes.
Keywords: Brugia malayi, filariasis control programs, loiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, Onchocerca volvulus, target based antifilarial agents, Wuchereria bancrofti
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