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what you should know about filariasis

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what you should know about filariasis

Post by ozoemena on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:06 pm

While on vacation ,my eyelids started swelling
and I started feeling itches..It gave me an
uncomfortable feeling in my eyes each time I
tried closing them.
I visited a nearby chemist shop and after
looking at my eyes, the chemist said
what is filariasis, What causes it,and what can
be done about it?
Here is what Dr. Ananya Mandal( to say:
Filariasis is a parasitic infection caused by
thread-like nematodes (filariae) that belong to
the roundworm superfamily filarioidea. These
infestations are common in tropical countries
such as sub-Saharan Africa, southern Asia,
the western Pacific islands, Brazil and
Eight types of filarial nematodes are known to
use humans as their host and these are
divided into three main groups according to
the body area they tend to occupy, as follows:
Lymphatic filariasis
Here, the lymphatic system is infected by the
following types of worm: Wuchereria bancrofti
Brugia malayi and Brugia timori . In chronic
cases, the host may develop elephantiasis, a
condition where parts of the body swell to
massive proportions.
Subcutaneous filariasis
This infection involves the subcutaneous
tissue and is caused by the worms Loa loa ,
Onchocerca volvulus, Mansonella streptocerca,
and Dracunculus medinensis (guinea worm).
Serous cavity filariasis
Here, the infection occurs in the serous cavity
of the abdomen and is caused by Mansonella
perstans and Mansonella ozzardi.
Transmission and life cycle
The filariae worms are spread by black flies
and mosquitoes. The filarial worm has a
complex life cycle that can be divided into five
main stages:
Adult worms in the human give birth to
thousands of live microfilariae.
These micofilariae are taken up by the
mosquito or fly during a blood meal.
Within the insect, the microfilariae migrate
towards the thoracic muscles where they
develop into first-stage and eventually
third-stage larvae, which are capable of
infecting humans.
These third-stage larvae migrate towards
the mosquito’s head and proboscis and are
transmitted to another human next time the
mosquito takes a blood meal.
Within the new host, the larvae take around
a year to complete two more stages of
development and mature into adult worms.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Edema is one of the most common symptoms
of filariasis and can lead to elephantiasis,
which is characterized by thickened skin and
massive swelling. In the subcutaneous form,
symptoms include itching, urticaria, skin
rashes and joint involvement or arthritis.
Serous cavity filariasis may cause similar
symptoms to those seen in the subcutaneous
form, along with abdominal pain.
A diagnosis of this condition is usually
confirmed when a blood film shows the
presence of microfilariae. The microfilariae are
identified using a stain called Geimsa stain.
Other diagnostic methods include polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) and antigenic assays.
The main treatment of choice for managing
filariasis is diethylcarbamazine (DEC). This
agent kills the microfiliae and has been used
globally for over. 50 years now."

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