Induction of host cytokines plays a critical role in infection as well as disease in human filariasis. Measurements of such molecules in plasma could be used as windows of markers both for understanding the pathogenesis of the disease and for identifying markers of morbidity. Eight inflammatory and non-inflammatory host molecules in circulation were quantified in 207 subjects in filariasis endemic area of Orissa, India. IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-alpha, TNFR-I, TNFR-II, LBP and sICAM-1 were quantified by immunoassays and were analyzed by multivariate exploratory data analysis methods followed by multivariate analysis of variance. Raised levels of IL-6 and IL-8 emerged as markers of acute as well as chronic disease, while increased TNF-alpha was a feature found only in acute filariasis. Decreased sICAM-1 was a feature found only in asymptomatic subjects with filarial infection. There was a dichotomy in plasma levels of two TNF receptors between infected subjects and patients with filarial disease. Since plasma levels of these cytokines are often determined by host genetics, studies on cytokine genetic polymorphisms could offer new insights into the relationship between infection and disease in human lymphatic filariasis.