Mansonella perstans is the most common filarial species infecting humans. It is estimated that 114 million people are infected in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
M. perstans is transmitted by blood-feeding mosquitoes (Culicoides). Adult worms live in cavities of the peritoneum, pleura and pericardium and microfilariae circulate in peripheral blood. Infections are most often asymptomatic, with pruritus, urticaria and subcutaneous oedema being the most common symptoms.
Although M. perstans is the most common filaria infecting humans, it is not yet listed as a Neglected Tropical Disease by the WHO. The current treatments used for mass drug administration against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis have no significant impact on microfilariae and adult worms. A 6-week daily doxycycline treatment was shown to eliminate microfilariae. Oxfendazole could provide a new treatment that allows short treatment regimens and eliminate adult filariae.