Background Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a neglected tropical disease and a major cause of chronic disabil-ity. Improved diagnostic tests are needed because of long-term persistence of anti-filarial antibodies or circulating filarial antigenemia after treatments that clear microfilaremia. Here, we assess changes in levels of antibodies to the recombinant filarial antigens Wb-Bhp-1, Wb123, and Bm14 after anti-filarial treatment. Methodology/principal findings IgG4 antibodies to recombinant filarial antigens were assessed by ELISA. We tested serial plasma samples from a clinical trial in Papua New Guinea. Before treatment, 90%, 71% and 99% of participants had antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1, Wb123, and Bm14, respectively. Antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1 and Wb123, but not Bm14, were significantly higher in participants with persistent microfilaremia 24 months after treatment. Antibodies to all three antigens declined significantly by 60 months after treatment with ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine and albenda-zole despite circulating filarial antigen in 76% of participants. By 60 months follow up, antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1, Wb123, and Bm14 were detected in 17%, 7% and 90% of participants, respectively. Antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1 also declined more rapidly after treatment than antibodies to Bm14 in samples from a clinical trial conducted in Sri Lanka. We also tested archived serum samples from people living in filariasis-endemic communities in Egypt with different infection profiles. Antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1 were detected in 73% of microfilaremic people, 53% of amicrofilaremic people with circulating filarial antigen, and 17.5% of endemic individuals without microfilaria or circulating filarial antigen. Tests performed with legacy samples from India showed that few people with filarial lymphedema had antibodies to these recombinant antigens. Conclusions Antibodies to Wb-Bhp-1 and Wb123 are more closely correlated with persistent microfilare-mia than circulating filarial antigenemia or antibodies to Bm14, and they clear more rapidly after anti-filarial treatment. Additional studies are needed to assess the value of Wb-Bhp-1 serology as a tool for determining the success of LF elimination efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0011364
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number6 June
StatePublished - Jun 2023


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