JUMMEC, 1998;3:63-63.


Lymphatic filariasis is endemic in Asia. The infections persist as a major cause of clinical morbidity and a significant impediment to socioeconomic development. Its prevalence is increasing world wide, largely because of rapid unplanned urbanization in many endemic areas. It is estimated that at least 120 million people are infected. In our study on foreign workers, a total of 241 day time blood samples were collected. The countries represented were Bangladesh (134), Indonesia (103), Pakistan (3) and Myanmar(1). The tests conducted on blood samples were thick blood film for microfilaria and thin blood film for malaria and quantitation of eosinophiles using the Giemsa stain. Out of the 241 blood samples tested, one was positive for Wuchereria bancrofti and one other was positive for malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) each from Bangladesh and Indonesia respectively. As for the blood eosinophiles, 39 (16.18%) blood samples showed high eosinophilia. Fifteen (6.22%) were from Banglandesh and 24 (9.96%) were from Indonesia. The Bangladeshi male who was positive for Witcherrria bamuofti also showed eosinophilia of 22%. We believe that some of these cases with high eosinophilia, may be positive for microfilaria. We may have missed some cases because of the methodology we chose. Lymphatic filariasis is endemic in Bangladesh and Indonesia. In Malaysia W. brancrofti, especially in the cities have been eliminated. However their vectors for the transmission of W. bancrofti is rampant in the cities. With the influx of immigrants with W. bancrofti and in relation to their occupational nature, W. bancrofti may eventually be introduced into the community and change the whole facet of the disease in Malaysia.