1. Observations on filariasis made during medical travels in the Malay Peninsula are described. 2. The tentative diagnosis of endemic filariasis was made when cases typical of filarial elephantiasis were found in members of the indigenous population who have never resided in a previously known filariasis area, and was confirmed by finding microfilariae of Wuchereria malayi in bloods from that population. 3. Endemic filariasis has previously been reported associated with jungle swamp along the lower reaches of some of the larger rivers, and in certain coastal ricefield areas. It is reported in this paper in undeveloped inland areas of Perak, Pahang and Selangor, far distant from the previously described foci. This data has been summarized in maps and an Appendix. 4. In most inland areas where a search has been made, it has been possible to find evidence of endemic filariasis and sometimes the parasite rate has been over 50%. 5. The geographical distribution of the disease has not yet been defined, but is certainly more extensive than that described in this paper. 6. Infection probably takes place at an altitude of 1,500 feet in mountain valleys in Malaya.
Studies were carried out to observe the species composition of mosquitos and to determine the vectors responsible for the transmission of filariasis in Grik, Perak, Malaysia. A total of 2,155 mosquitos belonging to 7 genera and 30 species were collected. Anopheles donaldi comprised 24.1% of the collection. Twelve out of 519 An. donaldi were infected with L3 larvae of Brugia malayi. The peak biting time was around 23.00-24.00 hours. The infective bites per month ranged from 0 to 6.3.
Accurate identification of filarial parasites in mosquitoes poses a major problem for the coordination of filariasis control programs. Traditional methods are tedious, and some are not specific enough to give satisfactory results. Amplification of specific gene sequences by primer-directed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been increasingly utilized as a diagnostic tool. However, current protocols for the extraction of parasite DNA from mosquito samples are tedious and could lead to failure of PCR amplification. We demonstrate that the use of Chelex is an efficient method for DNA extraction from mosquitoes and the parasite and that PCR amplification with primers specific for Brugia malayi yields a band of the expected size. The PCR products were transferred to a nylon membrane with Southern blotting, and a B. malayi-specific digoxigenin-labeled probe confirmed the sequence similarity of the PCR-amplified fragment and increased the sensitivity of the PCR assay. Use of this probe enabled us to detect PCR-amplified product from B. malayi even when a product was not visible on an ethidium bromide-stained agarose gel. This increased sensitivity allowed us to detect the parasite in the heads of mosquitoes.
De novo approach was applied to design single chain fragment variable (scFv) for BmR1, a recombinant antigen from Bm17DIII gene which is the primary antigen used for the detection of anti-BmR1 IgG4 antibodies in the diagnostic of lymphatic filariasis. Three epitopes of the BmR1 was previously predicted form an ab initio derived three-dimensional structure. A collection of energetically favourable conformations was generated via hot-spot-centric approach. This resulted in a set of three different scFv scaffolds used to compute the high shape complementary conformations via dock-and-design approach with the predicted epitopes of BmR1. A total of 4227 scFv designs were generated where 200 scFv designs produced binding energies of less than -20 R.E.U with shape complementarity higher than 0.5. We further selected the design with at least one hydrogen bond and one salt bridge with the epitope, thus resulted in a total of 10, 1 and 19 sFv designs for epitope 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The results thus showed that de novo design can be an alternative approach to yield high affinity in silico scFv designs as a starting point for antibody or specific binder discovery processes.
Brugia malayi is one of the parasitic worms which causes lymphatic filariasis in humans. Its geographical distribution includes a large part of Asia. Despite its wide distribution, very little is known about the genetic variation and molecular epidemiology of this species. In this study, the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) nucleotide sequences of B. malayi from microfilaria-positive human blood samples in Northeast Borneo Island were determined, and compared with published ITS1 sequences of B. malayi isolated from cats and humans in Thailand. Multiple alignment analysis revealed that B. malayi ITS1 sequences from Northeast Borneo were more similar to each other than to those from Thailand. Phylogenetic trees inferred using Neighbour-Joining and Maximum Parsimony methods showed similar topology, with 2 distinct B. malayi clusters. The first cluster consisted of Northeast Borneo B. malayi isolates, whereas the second consisted of the Thailand isolates. The findings of this study suggest that B. malayi in Borneo Island has diverged significantly from those of mainland Asia, and this has implications for the diagnosis of B. malayi infection across the region using ITS1-based molecular techniques.
The blood filtration method was used as the gold standard to determine the detection level of simple blood-spot sampling and nested-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Brugia malayi. Of 100 samples, 48 were filtration-positive. Of these, 26 had microfilaria counts that were low enough (<1-29 microfilariae/ml) to accurately assess the limit of detection by nested-PCR. Nested-PCR consistently detected B. malayi DNA in samples with > or = 10 microfilariae/ml. Post-filtration, microfilaria-depleted, blood-spots from microfilaria-positive samples were screened by nested-PCR and B. malayi specific 'free' DNA was detected in 51.7% of these samples. There was no evidence for 'free' DNA in microfilaria-negative individuals from this endemic community.