Santosh Kumar Maurya, Anil Kumar Singh, Ankit Seth


Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is deemed to be a major health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. Adult worms may live for several years in the infected individual, producing microfilariae (mf) and thereby facilitating transmission of the disease through the vector mosquitoes. Filarial nematodes are responsible for several diseases which include elephantiasis, river blindness and tropical pulmonary eosinophilia. The drug of choice for controlling filariasis exhibits numerous side effects. Current strategies to control filariasis are not thought to be completely safe and successful. This warrants an effective and safe drug targeted against the adult filarial worm. Some lead has been made by researchers to investigate the effect of several medicinal plants on filarial worm and many of them have been reported to have antifilarial activity. This review presents the profiles of the plants as antifilarial agents which not only affect the target but should have very low or no side effects.

Keywords: Lymphatic filariasis, Microfilariae, Antifilarial, Adult worms. 

| PDF | HTML |


WHO. Progress report 2000–2009 and strategic plan 2010–2020 of the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: halfway towards eliminating lymphatic filariasis. Geneva, Switzerland; 2010.

Ndjonka D, Rapado LN, Silber AM, Liebau E, Wrenger C. Natural products as a source for treating neglected parasitic diseases. Int J Mol Sci 2013;14(2):3395–439.

Evans DB, Gelband H, Vlassoff C. Social and economic factors and the control of lymphatic filariasis: a review. Acta Trop 1993;53(1):1–26.

WHO. Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2009;84:437–44.

Molyneux D. Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) elimination: a public health success and development opportunity. Filaria J 2003;2:13.

Hotez PJ, Remme JHF, Buss P, Alleyne G, Morel C, Breman JG. Combating tropical infectious diseases: report of the disease control priorities in developing countries project. Clin Infect Dis 2004;38(6):871–8.

Ottesen EA. The global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Trop Med Int Health 2000;5:591–4.

WHO, Monitoring and epidemiological assessment of the programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis at implementation unit level. Report no. WHO/CDS/CPE/CEE2005.50; 2005.

Gyapong JO, Kumaraswami V, Biswas G, Ottesen EA. Treatment strategies underpinning the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2005;6(2):179–200.

Bockarie MJ, Pedersen EM, White GB, Michael E. Role of vector control in the global program to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Annual Rev Entomol 2009;54:469–87.

Babu S, Thomas BN. Immunopathogenesis of lymphatic filarial disease. Semin Immunopathol 2012;34(6):847–61.

WHO. Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2005;80:202–12.

WHO. Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report on mass drug administration, 2010. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2011;86:377–88.

Ichimori K, Ottesen EA. Eliminating lymphatic filariasis. Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex 2011;68(2):134–7.

Burkot TR, Durrheim DN, Melrose WD, Speare R, Ichimori K. The argument for integrating vector control with multiple drug administration campaigns to ensure elimination of lymphatic filariasis. Filaria 2006;5:10.

Ottesen EA, Hooper PJ, Bradley M, Biswas G. The global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: health impact after 8 years. PLOS Negl Trop Dis 2008;2:e317.

WHO. Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2008;83:333–48.

Gayen P, Nayak A, Saini P, Mukherjee N, Maitra S, Sarkar P, et al. A double–blind controlled field trial of doxycycline and albendazole in combination for the treatment of bancroftian filariasis in India. Acta Trop 2013;125:150–6.

Sashidhara KV, Singh SP, Misra S, Gupta J, Bhattacharya SM. Galactolipids from Bauhinia racemosa as a new class of antifilarial agents against human lymphatic filarial parasite, Brugia malayi. Eur J Med Chem 2012;50:230–5.

Ottesen EA, Duke BOL, Daram M, Behbehani K. Strategies and tools for the control/elimination of lymphatic filariasis. Bull World Health Organ 1997;75:491–503.

Noroes J, Dreyer G, Santos A, Mendes VG, Medeiros Z, Addis D. Assessment of the efficacy of diethylcarbamazine on adult Wuchereria bancrofti in vivo. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1997;91:78–81.

Babu BV, Rath K, Kerketta AS, Swain BK, Mishra S, Kar SK. Adverse reactions following mass drug administration during the programme to eliminate lymphatic Filariasis in Orissa State, India. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2006;100(5):464–9.

Sharma S. Vector borne diseases. Prog Drug Res 1990;35:365.

Dhananjeyan MR, Milev YP, Kron MA, Nair MG. Synthesis and activity of substituted anthraquinones against a human filarial parasite, Brugia malayi. J Med Chem 2005;48:2822–30.

Srivastava SK, Chauhan PMS, Bhaduri AP, Fatima N, Chatterjee RK. Quinolones: novel probes in antifilarial chemotherapy. J Med Chem 2000;43:2275–9.

Das NG, Goswami D, Rabha B. Preliminary evaluation of mosquito larvicidal efficacy of plant extracts. J Vector Borne Dis 2007;44(2):145–8.

Misra N, Sharma M, Raj K, Bhattacharya SM. Chemical constituents and antifilarial activity of Lantana camara against human lymphatic filariid Brugia malayi and rodent filariid Acanthocheilonema viteae maintained in rodent hosts. Parasitol Res 2007;100(3):439–48.

Ghosh M, Babu SP, Sukul NC, Mahato SB. Antifilarial effect of two triterpenoid saponins isolated from Acacia auriculiformis. Indian J Exp Biol 1993;31:604–6.

Ghosh NK, Babu SP, Sukul NC, Ito A. Cestocidal activity of Acacia auriculiformis. J Helminthol 1996;70:171–2.

Chakraborty T, Sinha Babu SP, Sukul NC. Antifilarial effects of a plant Acacia auriculiformis on canine dirofilariasis. Trop Med 1995;37(1):35–7.

Babu SP, Sarkar D, Ghosh NK, Saha A, Sukul NC, Bhattacharya S. Enhancement of membrane damage by saponins isolated from Acacia auriculiformis. Jpn J Pharmacol 1997;75:451–4.

Nandi B, Roy S, Bhattacharya S, Babu SPS. Free radicals mediated membrane damage by the saponins acaciaside A and acaciaside B. Phytother Res 2004;18(3):191–4.

Joshi SG. Medicinal plants. Calcutta: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co Pvt Ltd; 2000. p. 3.

Sahare KN, Anandhraman V, Meshram VG, Meshram SU, Reddy MVR, Tumane PM, et al. Anti–microfilarial activity of methanolic extract of Vitex negundo and Aegle marmelos and their phytochemical analysis. Indian J Exp Biol 2008;46:128–31.

Sahare KN, Anandharaman V, Meshram VG, Meshram SU, Gajalakshmi D, Goswami K, et al. In vitro effect of four herbal plants on the motility of Brugia malayi microfilariae. Indian J Med Res 2008;127:467–71.

Sharma RD, Veerpathran AR, Dakshinamoorthy G, Sahare KN, Goswami K, Reddy MVR. Possible implication of oxidative stress in antifilarial effect of certain traditionally used medicinal plants in vitro against Brugia malayi microfilariae. Pharmacogn Res 2010;2(6):350–4.

Chauhan VS, Misra AK. Development of molecular markers for screening of Alnus nepalensis (D. Don) genotypes for the nitrogenase activity of actinorhizal root nodules. Mol Genet Genomics 2002;267:303–12.

Yadav D, Kushwaha V, Saxena K, Verma R, Murthy PK, Gupta MM. Diarylheptanoid compounds from Alnus nepalensis express in vitro and in vivo antifilarial activity. Acta Trop 2013;128:509–17.

Yadav D, Singh SC, Verma RK, Saxena K, Verma R, Murthyc PK, Gupta MM. Antifilarial diarylheptanoids from Alnus nepalensis leaves growing in high altitude areas of Uttarakhand, India. Phytomed 2013;20:124–32.

Dutta A, Sukul NC. Filaricidal properties of a wild herb, Andrographis paniculata. J Helminthol 1982;56:81–4.

Zaridaha MZ, Idid SZ, Omar AW, Khozira S. In vitro antifilarial effects of three plant species against adult worms of subperiodic Brugia malayi. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78:79–84.

Misra S, Verma M, Mishra SK, Srivastava S, Lakshmi V, Bhattacharya SM. Gedunin and photogedunin of Xylocarpus granatum possess antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi in experimental rodent host. Parasitol Res 2011;109(5):1351–60.

Singh R, Khan NU, Singhal KC. Potential antifilarial activity of roots of Asparagus adscendens Roxb, against Setaria cervi in vitro. Indian J Exp Biol 1997;35:168–72.

Mathai A, Devi KS. Anti–parasitic activity of certain indigenous plants. Anc Sci Life 1992;12(1–2):271–3.

Mishra V, Parveen N, Singhal KC, Khan NU. Antifilarial activity of Azadirachta indica on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi. Fitoterapia 2005;76:54–61.

Mukherjee N, Mukherjee S, Saini P, Roy P, Santi P, Babu S. Antifilarial effects of polyphenol rich ethanolic extract from the leaves of Azadirachta indica through molecular and biochemical approaches describing reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated apoptosis of Setaria cervi. Exp Parasitol 2014;136:41–58.

Mukerji AK, Bhaduri NV. The treatment of intestinal worms with the indigenous drugs Butea, Embelia and kamala. Ind Med Gaz 1947;82(2):66–9.

Deshmukh M, Sahare KN, Patidar RK, Mahajan B, Singh V. Antifilarial activity of Butea monosperma L. leaves extracts against Setaria cervi. Trends Vector Res Parasitol 2014;1:1.

Sahare KN, Anandhraman V, Meshram VG, Meshram SU, Singh V, Reddy MVR, et al. Antifilarial Potential of Butea monosperma L. against microfilaria in vitro. Int J Pharm Tech Res 2012;4(3):1181–4.

Datt´e JY, Traor´e A, Offoumou AM, Ziegler A. Effects of leaf extract of Caesalpinia bonduc (Caesalpiniaceae) on the contractile activity of uterine smooth muscle of pregnant rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1998;60:149–55.

Gaur RL, Sahoo MK, Dixit S, Fatma N, Rastogi S, Kulshreshtha DK, et al. Antifilarial activity of Caesalpinia bonducella against experimental filarial infections. Indian J Med Res 2008;128:65–70.

Khunkitti W, Fujimaki Y, Aoki Y. In vitro antifilarial activity of extracts of the medicinal plant Cardiospermum halicacabum against Brugia pahangi. J Helminthol 2000;74(3):241–67.

Nisha M, Kalyanasundaram M, Paily KP, Abidha, Vanamail P, Balaraman K. In vitro screening of medicinal plant extracts form acrofilaricidal activity. Parasitol Res 2006;100(3):575–9.

Singhal KC, Sharma S, Mehta BK. Antifilarial activity of Centratherum anthelminticum seed extracts on Setaria cervi. Indian J Exp Biol 1992;30(6):546–8.

Patra JK, Mohapatra AD, Rath SK, Dhal NK, Thatoi H. Screening of antioxidant and antifilarial activity of leaf extracts of Excoecaria agallocha L. Int J Integr Bio 2009;7(1):9–15.

Mishra V, Khan NU, Singhal KC. Potential antifilarial activity of fruit extracts of Ficus racemosa Linn. against Setaria cervi in vitro. Indian J Exp Biol 2005;43(4):346–50.

Kalani K, Kushwaha V, Verma R, Murthy PK, Srivastava SK. Glycyrrhetinic acid and its analogs: a new class of antifilarial agents. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013;23:2566–70.

Hoerauf A. New strategies to combat filariasis. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2006;4(2):211–22.

Fullerton M, Khatiwada J, Johnson JU, Davis S, Williams LL. Determination of antimicrobial activity of sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from food, veterinary, and clinical samples. J Med Food 2011;14(9):950–6.

Saxena K, Dube V, Kushwaha V. Antifilarial efficacy of Hibiscus sabdariffa on lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi. Med Chem Res 2010;20:1594–602.

Saini P, Gayen P, Nayak A, Kumar D, Mukherjee N, Pal BC, et al. Effect of ferulic acid from Hibiscus mutabilis on filarial parasite Setaria cervi: molecular and biochemical approaches. Parasitol Int 2012;61:520–31.

Qamaruddin, Parveen N, Khan NU, Singhal KC. In vitro antifilarial potential of the flower and stem extracts of Leucas cephalotes on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi. J Nat Rem 2002;2(2):155–63.

Singh R, Singhal KC, Khan NU. Antifilarial activity of Mallotus philippensis Lam. on Setaria cervi (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in vitro. Indian J Phys Pharmacol 1997;41:397–403.

Kushwaha V, Saxena K, Verma SK, Lakshmi V, Sharma RK, Murthy PK. Antifilarial activity of gum from Moringa oleifera Lam. on human lymphatic filaria Brugia malayi. Chron Young Sci 2011;2:201–06.

Fujimaki Y, Kamachi T, Yanagi T, Cáceres A, Maki J, Aoki Y. Macrofilaricidal and microfilaricidal effects of Neurolaena lobata, a Guatemalan medicinal plant, on Brugia pahangi. J Helminthol 2005;79(1):23–8.

Tripathi S, Singh N, Shakya S. Gender based differences in phenol and thiocyanate contents and biological activity in Piper betle L. Curr Sci 2008;91(6):746–9.

Singh M, Shakya S, Soni VK, Dangi A, Kumar N, Bhattacharya SM. The n–hexane and chloroform fractions of Piper betle L. trigger different arms of immune responses in BALB/c mice and exhibit antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarid Brugia malayi. Int Immunopharmacol 2009;9:716–28.

Mathew N, Paily Abidha KP, Vanamail P, Kalyansundram M, Balraman K. Macrofilaricidal activity of plant Plumbago Indica/rosea in vitro. Drug Dev Res 2002;56(1):33–9.

Uddin Q, Parveen N, Khan NU, Singhal KC. Antifilarial potential of the fruits and leaves extracts of Pongamia pinnata on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi. Phytother Res 2003;17:1104–07.

Qamaruddin, Parveen N, Khan NU, Singhal KC. Potential antifilarial activity of the leaves and seeds extracts of Psoralea corylifolia on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;82:23–8.

Shanmugapriya R, Ramanathan T. Antifilarial activity of seed extracts of Ricinus communis against Brugia malayi. J Pharm Res 2012;5(3):1448–50.

Singh R, Singhal KC, Khan NU. Exploration of antifilarial potential and possible mechanism of action of the root extracts of Saxifraga stracheyi on on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi. Phytother Res 2000;14(1):63–6.

Ghosh M, Shinhababu SP, Sukul NC, Sahu NP, Mahato SB. Antifilarial effect of solamargine isolated from Solanum Khastanum. Int J Pharm 1994;32:1–7.

Galani VJ, Patel BG, Rana DG. Sphaeranthus indicus linn: a phytopharmacological review. Int J Ayu Res 2010;1(4):247–53.

Nazneen P, Singhal KC, Khan NU, Singhal P. Potential antifilarial activity of Streblus asper against Setaria cervi (nematoda: filarioidea). Indian J Pharmacol 1989;21:16.

Chatterjee RK, Fatma N, Murthy PK, Sinha P, Kulshrestha DK, Dhawan BN. Macrofilaricidal activity of the stem bark of Streblus asper and its major active constituents. Drug Dev Res 1992;26:67–78.

Hashmi S, Singh VK. Streblus asper Lour.—an indigenous drug for the treatment of filariasis. In: Majumdar DK, Govil JN, Singh VK (eds) Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants: Ethnomedicine and Pharmacognosy, Vol. 1, Houston, Texas, USA: SCI Tech Publishing LLC; 2002. p. 259–319.

Singh SN, Chatterjee RK, Srivastava AK. Effect of glycosides of Streblus asper on motility, glucose uptake, and certain enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism of Setaria cervi. Drug Dev Res 1994;32:191–5.

Singh SN, Raina D, Chatterjee RK, Srivastava AK. Antifilarial glycosides of Streblus asper: effect on metabolism of adult Setaria cervifemales. Helminthologia 1998;35:173–7.

Pandey PN, Das UK. Therapeutic assessment of Shakhotaka Ghana Vati on Slipada (Filariasis). J Res Ayur Siddha 1990;11:31–7.

Choudhary N, Siddiqui MB, Azmat S, Khatoon S. Tinospora cordifolia: ethnobotany, phytopharmacology and phytochemistry aspects. IJPSR 2013;4(3):891–9.

Mathew N, Bhattacharya SM, Perumal V, Muthuswamy K. Antifilarial lead molecules isolated from Trachyspermum ammi. Molecule 2008;13(9):2156–68.

Parveen N. Antifilarial activity of Vitex negundo L. against Setaria cervi. Fitoterapia 1991;62:163.

Sahare KN, Singh V. Antifilarial activity of ethyl acetate extract of Vitex negundo leaves in vitro. Asian Pac J Trop Med 2013;6:689–69.

Kushwaha S, Soni VK, Singh PK, Bano N, Kumar A, Sangwan RS, et al. Withania somnifera chemotypes NMITLI 101R, NMITLI 118R, NMITLI 128R and withaferin A protect Mastomys coucha from Brugia malayi infection. Parasite Immunol 2012;34:199–209.

Datta A, Sukul NC. Antifilarial effect of Zinger officinale on dirofilaria immitis. J Helminthol 1987;61:268–70.

About this article





Additional Links

Manuscript Submission


Journal of Critical Reviews
Vol 2, Issue 1, 2015 Page: 1-6

Online ISSN



514 Views | 93 Downloads

Authors & Affiliations

Santosh Kumar Maurya

Anil Kumar Singh

Ankit Seth


  • There are currently no refbacks.