Brugia malayi

Brugia malayi is a helminth/nematode.

Disease / Pathology

Brugia malayi causes elephantiasis in infected persons by the adult parasites causing blockage of the lymphatics.

Location in the Host

Brugia malayi adults are located in the lymphatics while the microfilariae are found in the blood.

Geographic Distribution

Brugia malayi is found Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and India.

Life Cycle

Brugia malayi is transmitted by the mosquito. The Anopheles, Mansonia and Coquilletidia mosquitos are the specific mosquito vectors. Periodicity can either be nocturnal or sub periodic.

Morphology & Diagnosis

Brugia malayi microfilariae are 177-230um in length. There is a sheath that stains pink with Giemsa and stiff with secondary kinks. The head space is twice as long as it is broad. The tail tapers and there are two nuclei that appear constricted or connected by a thin thread. The nuclei in the body appear to be crowded.


Brugia malayi photos left and center by W. Vientos – right photo by CDC

Illustration by W. Vientos