The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was launched in 2000. To understand why some national programs have been more successful than others, a panel of individuals with expertise in LF elimination efforts met to assess available data from programs in 8 countries. The goal was to identify: 1) the factors determining success for national LF elimination programs (defined as the rapid, sustained reduction in microfilaremia/antigenemia after repeated mass drug administration [MDA]); 2) the priorities for operational research to enhance LF elimination efforts.
Of more than 40 factors identified, the most prominent were 1) initial level of LF endemicity; 2) effectiveness of vector mosquitoes; 3) MDA drug regimen; 4) population compliance.
Research important for facilitating program success was identified as either biologic (i.e.,  quantifying differences in vectorial capacity;  identifying seasonal variations affecting LF transmission) or programmatic (i.e.,  identifying quantitative thresholds, especially the population compliance levels necessary for success, and the antigenemia or microfilaremia prevalence at which MDA programs can stop with minimal risk of resumption of transmission;  defining optimal drug distribution strategies and timing;  identifying those individuals who are “persistently non-compliant” during MDAs, the reasons for this non-compliance and approaches to overcoming it).
While addressing these challenges is important, many key determinants of program success are already clearly understood; operationalizing these as soon as possible will greatly increase the potential for national program success.