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Trop Med Int Health. 2009 Apr;14(4):445-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02240.x. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Elimination of lymphatic filariasis in the Republic of Korea: an epidemiological survey of formerly endemic areas, 2002-2006.

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Division of Malaria & Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Health, Seoul, Korea.



To determine the current status of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Korea.


Epidemiological surveys between 2002 and 2006 in areas where LF was previously endemic: remote and coastal areas Jeollanam-do, Gyeongsangnam-do, and Jeju-do, and inland Gyeongsangbuk-do. We took night blood smears from 9426 people for microfilaria testing and assayed samples from 3049 children (10- to 13-year-olds) and 1526 adults for Brugia malayi antibodies.


We found two cases (0.01%) with low microfilaria density in their peripheral blood (1-2/20 mul) on the remote island of Jeollanam-do in the southern part of the Korean peninsula. These patients, males over 60-years old, were treated with diethylcarbamazine (DEC). None of the 4575 people surveyed tested positive for specific B. malayi antibodies.


Lymphatic filariasis appears to have been eliminated in Korea.

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