The nematode parasites Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and B. timori cause a disease in humans known as lymphatic filariasis, which afflicts approximately 120 million people worldwide. The parasites enter the human host from the mosquito either as L3 or as infective larvae and subsequently differentiate through 2 molts. In this article, we show that B. malayi depends on an exogenous source of vitamin C to complete the L3 to L4 molt, a critical morphogenic step in its life cycle. Brugia malayi apparently belongs to a small group of living organisms that depend on an exogenous source of vitamin C. This group includes only primates (including man) and guinea pigs among mammals.

You do not currently have access to this content.