Brugia Malayi - Genome Deciphered - Endosymbiotic Relationship of Brugia Malayi With Wolbachia

Endosymbiotic Relationship of Brugia Malayi With Wolbachia

The relationship between the bacteria Wolbachia and B. malayi is not fully understood. Some theories based on research done with Wuchereria bancrofti, another worm that causes filariasis, believe that Wolbachia may: aid in embryogenesis of the worm, be responsible for potent inflammatory responses from macrophages and filarial disease, and may be linked to the onset of lyphodema and blindness sometimes associated with B. malayi infections. According to a study done by University of Bonn in Ghana, doxycycline was effective in depleting Wolbachia from W. bancrofti. It is likely that the mechanism of doxycycline is similar to that in other filarial species, i.e., a predominant blockade of embryogenesis, leading to a decline of microfilariae according to their half-life. This could render doxycycline treatment an additional tool for the treatment of microfilaria-associated diseases in bancroftian filariasis, along with B. malayi fiariasis. The doxycycline course of treatment would be much shorter as it would be able to target the adult worm rather than the larvae current treatments kill, and there would be fewer side effects for the infected individual.

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