Filariasis epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ahmed Elsaiey, MBBCH [2]


Lymphatic filariasis is widely distributed all over the world and affects as many as 120 million individuals worldwide. It is also responsible for disability in about 40 million patients. It affects children and the probability of infection increases with age. The causative worms are found predominantly in tropical areas.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • Lymphatic filariasis affects over 120 million people and it has been the leading cause of disability among filariasis patients.[1]
  • It has been reported that 1 billion people are at risk of being infected with the disease.[2]

Case fatality rate

  • Filariasis causes disability in 40% of the patients affected.[3]


  • Filariasis commonly affects children.
  • It affects children before age of 5 but they remain asymptomatic and the symptoms appear after the puberty.[2]


  • Men and women are affected equally by filariasis.


  • There is no racial predilection for filariasis.

Geographic Distribution

  • Distribution of the different nematodes causing lymphatic filariasis as the following:
  • In endemic areas of the world (e.g., Malaipea in Indonesia), up to 54% of the population may have microfilariae in their blood.[4] In the Americas, only four countries are currently known to be endemic: Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Brazil.


  1. "Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report, 2013". Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 89 (38): 409–18. 2014. PMID 25243263.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Witt C, Ottesen EA (2001). "Lymphatic filariasis: an infection of childhood". Trop Med Int Health. 6 (8): 582–606. PMID 11555425.
  3. "Global Programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report on mass drug administration, 2010". Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 86 (35): 377–88. 2011. PMID 21887884.
  4. Aupali T, Ismid IS, Wibowo H; et al. (2006). "Estimation of the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis by a pool screen PCR assay using blood spots collected on filter paper". Tran R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 100 (8): 753&ndash, 9.