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  • filariasis are infectious tropical conditions caused by microfilariae (thread-like nematode parasites) belonging to the superfamily Filarioidea, which are spread by blood feeding arthropods such as black flies and mosquitoes.

clinical pictures

lymphatic filariasis

  • caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori.
  • chronic cases may lead to the disease elephantiasis

subcutaneous filariasis

  • caused by loa loa (the African eye worm), Mansonella streptocerca, and Onchocerca volvulus (onchocerciasis / river blindness)
  • worms occupy the subcutaneous layer of the skin, in the fat layer.

serous cavity filariasis

  • caused by the worms Mansonella perstans and Mansonella ozzardi, which occupy the serous cavity of the abdomen


  • Filariasis is usually diagnosed by identifying microfilariae on Giemsa stained thin and thick blood film smears, using the “gold standard” known as the finger prick test.
  • blood must be drawn at the appropriate time of day - night time for Wuchereria bancrofti, day time for Loa Loa
  • M. streptocerca and O. volvulus produce microfilarae that do not use the blood, so skin samples are required
filariasis.txt · Last modified: 2012/01/05 04:54 by

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