Thursday 9 December 2004
Definition: Infections with nematodes of the superfamily Filarioidea. Filariasis is a parasitical and infectious tropical disease, caused by the thread-like parasitic filiria worms, Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and B. timori, all transmitted by mosquitoes.
In 1866, Otto Wecherer demonstrated the presence of filiria, or filiria larva, in urine. In 1871, Timoth Lewis discovered the presence of microfilaria in peripheral blood; later, in 1876, Joseph Bancroft discovered the adult form. Finally in 1878, Patrick Manson observed the development of Wechereria bancrofti in mosquitos.
Filariasis is endemic in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, Central and South America. It is extremely rare in Western countries.
The presence of living worms in the body is mainly asymptomatic but the death of adult worms leads to granulomatous inflammation and permanent fibrosis.
obstruction of lymphatic system
- elephantitis (swelling in the genitals or thighs)
Types of helminth
- Loa loa
- Wuchereria bancrofti
- Brugia malayi
- Brugia timori
- zootic north american Brugia
- Mansonella ozzardi
- Mansonella perstans
- Mansonella streptocerca
zoonotic filariasis (zoonotic filarial nematode infection)
- Dirofilarial immitis infection
- north american Brugia infection
Taylor MJ. A new insight into the pathogenesis of filarial disease. Curr Mol Med. 2002 May;2(3):299-302. PMID: #12041732#