Daten zum Projekt

Wolbachia endobacteria in filarial infections - exploring their usefulness as targets for novel chemotherapies that are anti-filarial, reduce filarial pathology and interrupt transmission (extension)

Initiative: Wissen für morgen – Kooperative Forschungsvorhaben im subsaharischen Afrika
Ausschreibung: Tropical Medicine 2004
Bewilligung: 20.04.2009
Laufzeit: 2 Jahre


Filarial infections, such as onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis, are major diseases in sub-Saharan Africa associated with poverty, with some 80 million infected people. They are caused by thread-like worms transmitted as tiny larvae by flying insects and living for many years in the human body. New options for treatment have focused on Wolbachia endobacteria, living inside the worms providing them with metabolites essential for survival. There- fore, antibiotics like doxycycline that kill the bacteria also kill the worms. The consortium of scientists from three African countries and from Germany has demonstrated that doxycycline also improves major disease burdens of lymphatic filariasis, lymphoedema (swelling of limbs) and hydrocele (swelling of the male scrotal area). The role Wolbachia play during worm transmission in insects was also analysed. In the next funding period, this knowledge will be transfered further into the treatment in rural areas, hoping to circumvent prohibitively costly hydrocele operations and to prevent the development of lymphoedema - also the type caused by walking on silica soil called podoconiosis - altogether. Analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of altered lympha- tics will be performed, and techniques will be transferred to the African labs.


  • Prof. Dr. Achim Hörauf

    Universitätsklinikum Bonn
    Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie,
    Immunologie und Parasitologie

  • Dr. Kenneth Pfarr

    Universitätsklinikum Bonn
    Institute für Medizinische Mikrobiologie,
    Immunologie und Parasitiologie

  • Dr. Sabine Specht

    Universitätsklinikum Bonn
    Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie,
    Immunologie, Parasitologie

  • Prof. Dr. Ohene Adjei

    Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research
    in Tropical Medicine (KCCR)
    School of Medical Science (SMS)

  • Dr. Alexander Yaw Debrah

    Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
    Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
    Department of Medical Laboratory Technology

  • Dr. Samuel Wanji

    University of Buea
    Department of Life Science
    Kamerun (Cameroun)

  • Dr. Williams Makunde

    National Institute for Medical Research
    Bombo Research Station
    Tansania (Tanzania)