Seroconversion to filarial antigens in Australian Defence Force personnel in Timor-Leste

Frances, Stephen, Baade, Lisa M. , Kubofcik, Joseph, Nutman, Thomas B., Melrose, Wayne D., McCarthy, James S., and Nissen, Michael D. (2008) Seroconversion to filarial antigens in Australian Defence Force personnel in Timor-Leste. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 78 (4). pp. 560-563.

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To investigate whether Australian soldiers were exposed to filarial parasites that cause lymphatic filariasis during a 6-month deployment to Timor-Leste, antifilarial antibody levels were measured in 907 soldiers using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Initial testing using Dirofilaria immitis antigen demonstrated that 49 of 907 (5.4%) soldiers developed antifilarial antibodies of the IgG1 subclass after deployment, whereas 1 of 944 (0.1%) seroconverted to the IgG4 subclass. When a sub sample of 88 D. immitis-reactive sera was subject to testing with an antifilarial antibody test using Brugia malayi antigen, 46 had elevated IgG antibodies, whereas 5 had elevated antibodies of the IgG4 subclass. A total of 24 soldiers seroconverted to B. malayi, as measured by parasite-specific IgG, whereas 1 seroconverted to IgG4. The relatively low number of seroconversions indicates a low but measurable risk of exposure to human filarial parasites among Australian soldiers deployed to Timor-Leste. However, to reduce the risk of exposure to these parasites, soldiers deploying to endemic areas should practice strict adherence to personal protective measures against mosquito bites.

Item ID: 5725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-1645
Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; defence force; Timor-Leste; seroconversion
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009 03:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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