Genetic characterization of field isolates and clinical specimens of filarial nematodes is often limited by a shortage of DNA; therefore, we evaluated a multiple displacement amplification (MDA) based whole genome amplification method. The quality of amplified DNA was examined by conventional PCR, real-time PCR, and DNA hybridization. MDA of 5.0 ng of adult Brugia malayi DNA and one-fifteenth of the DNA isolated from a single microfilaria resulted in 6.3 and 4.2 microg of amplified DNA, respectively. Amplified DNA was equivalent to native genomic DNA for hybridization to B. malayi BAC library clones or to an oligonucleotide microarray with approximately 18,000 filarial DNA sequences. MDA is useful for whole genome amplification of filarial DNA from very small amounts of starting material. This technology will permit detailed studies of genetic diversity that were not previously feasible.