Filariasis is an infection caused by parasite transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods like black flies and mosquitoes.
What is Filariasis?
Filariasis is a disease caused by the parasite transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods, mainly black flies and mosquitoes.
Filariasis does not threaten your life but it can lead to a permanent damage to the lymphatic system. This infection shows up no symptoms in the initial stages thus, making people unaware of the disorder.
Cause of Filariasis
There are eight different thread-like nematodes that lead to filariasis. These include:
- Lymphatic filariasis
- Subcutaneous filariasis
- Serious cavity filariasis
When a healthy person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the larvae called microfilariae move in the lymphatics and lymph nodes. They then start developing into adult worms and may stay for many years.
Symptoms of Filariasis
In the initial stages of filariasis, there can be no symptoms seen. This happens because the problems start after the adult worms die. Thickening of the skin and underlying tissues is the most common symptom of elephantiasis. Parts like arms, vulva, breasts and scrotum can be affected by the infection.
Diagnosis of Filariasis
The most commonly used way to diagnose filariasis includes the following:
- Direct demonstration of microfilariae in blood or skin specimens. The sample for blood is usually collected at night because microfilariae have nocturnal periodicity
- Detection of antibodies by immunodiagnostic tests
- Detection circulating filarial antigen
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Read more on Understand Filariasis.
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