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All about Filariasis

Submitted by on October 24, 2012 – 10:00 pmNo Comment



Filariasis is a disease that is seen to affect animals as well as human beings. It is caused due to the nematode parasites of the Filariidae order. They are commonly known as filariae. They are grouped on the basis of where the adult worms live in the vertebral host.

Of the many filarial parasites there are only 8 kind that are seen to cause natural infections in the human beings. The lymphatic group and the cutaneous group are very important clinically. There are many other kind of filariae that cause some infections that are incomplete. This is because they are not able to reach adult maturity in the human hosts so they cannot produce microfilaria. All the filarial infections have an impact on the economic and psychosocial front in the endemic areas. India has shown that all the infected patients lose a lot of time from work because of the disease.

All the Filariae have a particular kind of distribution geographically. Some are found in sub Saharan Africa, some in the Pacific Islands, some in South East Asia and many in India. It has been seen that the microfilaremia increases as a person grows as it is gradually acquired over many years. the filariasis contracted in childhood is called lymphatic filariasis . the proportion of the infected individual does not change. Like most helminthes, filarial parasite duplicate in a secondary host. The parasite normally increases when the host is exposed to additional microfilaria.

Infected individuals normally cannot withstand higher levels of parasitemia till they are ready to level the endemic area. the infection normally occurs when the mosquito vector stays for a prolonged stay in an endemic area. So filariasis is the infectious tropical disease is caused when the filariae is transmitted from the host to the arthropods feeding on blood. These include the mosquitoes and black flies.

Worms cause lymphatic filariasis. These worms lie on the subcutaneous layer of the skin and also occupy the lymph nodes and many times lead to the dreaded disease elephantitis. In many cases the worms cause another disease called elephantiasis.

Loa Loa or the eye worm is the worm causing subcutaneous filariasis. Sitting on the subcutaneous layer of the skin, they cause a lot of problems like river blindness too.

Then there is Mansonella perstans and Mansonella ozzardi which are found in the abdominal cavity. There are adult worms which normally stay in one single tissue and they also release early larvae which are seen to form in the bloodstream.

Filariasis is normally in cases of microfilaraemic when microfilaria is seen in the peripheral blood. There are cases of occult filariasis after clinical observations and sometimes by circulating antigen in the blood.

The most common symptom of lymphatic filariasis is water retention with a lot of skin thickening and underlying tissues. This was the first disease that was discovered to be caused due to mosquito bites. When the parasites start living in the lymphatic system. then the resultant effect is elephantiasis.

Seen affecting the lower portions, the disease is seen to affect the mucous membranes, amputation stumps etc. Different kind of filarial worms affect different parts of the body.

Filariasis is thus a condition that is caused due to mosquito bites. It is a disease that really disintegrates a person.

Know all about filariasis and its related features and symptoms.

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