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Morphological and genetic variation of Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae in carriers in Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar: evaluation using Giemsa-stained thick blood films

  • J. Jongthawin (a1) (a2), P.M. Intapan (a2) (a3), T. Thanchomnang (a1) (a2), L. Sadaow (a2) (a3), S. Laymanivong (a4), W. Maleewong (a2) (a3) and O. Sanpool (a2) (a3)...


There is geographical variation in the morphology and genetics of Wuchereria bancrofti, the major cause of human lymphatic filariasis. This study aims to compare morphological and genetic variation of W. bancrofti microfilariae recovered from carriers in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand. Six morphological parameters (body length, cephalic space length and width, length of head to nerve ring, body width at nerve ring, Innenkȍrper length and number of column nuclei between the cephalic space and nerve ring) were evaluated from microfilariae in Giemsa-stained thick blood films. A portion of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced and analysed. Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae showed a wide variation in their morphology and morphometry among three countries. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that all microfilariae belonged to W. bancrofti. Higher mutation frequencies were observed in samples from Myanmar, relative to Thailand and Lao PDR. This study highlights the morphological disparities of microfilariae and genetic variability within W. bancrofti among three geographical locations. We found that reported morphometric differences between localities were less clear-cut than previously thought. Further studies are needed to determine the microfilarial periodicity in Lao PDR.


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Author for correspondence: O. Sanpool, E-mail:,


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Morphological and genetic variation of Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae in carriers in Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar: evaluation using Giemsa-stained thick blood films

  • J. Jongthawin (a1) (a2), P.M. Intapan (a2) (a3), T. Thanchomnang (a1) (a2), L. Sadaow (a2) (a3), S. Laymanivong (a4), W. Maleewong (a2) (a3) and O. Sanpool (a2) (a3)...


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