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Wolbachia bacteria in filarial immunity and disease

Taylor, Mark ORCID:, Cross, H. F., Ford, Louise, Makunde, W. H., Prasad, G. B. K. S. and Bilo, K. (2001) 'Wolbachia bacteria in filarial immunity and disease'. Parasite Immunology, Vol 23, Issue 7, pp. 401-409.

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Lymphatic filarial nematodes are infected with endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria. Lipopolysaccharide from these bacteria is the major activator of innate inflammatory responses induced directly by the parasite. Here, we propose a mechanism by which Wolbachia initiates acute inflammatory responses associated with death of parasites, leading to acute filarial lymphangitis and adverse reactions to antifilarial chemotherapy. We also speculate that repeated exposure to acute inflammatory responses and the chronic release of bacteria, results in damage to infected lymphatics and desensitization of the innate immune system. These events will result in an increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections, which cause acute dermatolymphangitis associated with lymphoedema and elephantiasis. The recognition of the contribution of endosymbiotic bacteria to filarial disease could be exploited for clinical intervention by the targeting of bacteria with antibiotics in an attempt to reduce the development of filarial pathology.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 52 Physiology and chemistry of microorganisms. Metabolism.
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 301 Filarioidea
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Lymphatic System > WH 700 Lymphatic system. Lymphatic diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Pre 2002
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2013 11:40
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 09:01


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