What Is A Lymphatic Filariasis?

May 01 10:57 2019 Print This Article

It is defined as a disorder in which there is a parasite infection caused due to the tropical disease. It is due to the thread like organism known as nematode. There are quite different types of nematode which uses a definite host. They are divided in different sub groups. The different worms are present in the lymphatic as well as other lymph nodes. The worms are present in the sub cutaneous layer of skin including the fat layer. In few cases the serous cavity which is present in the abdomen is also involved.

The transmitting insects are the blood sucking insects and a form of crustaceans. It has quite complicated life cycle. It has 5 different stages. After mating the female gives rise to thousands of small filariae. The vector insects take them and are done during a blood meal. In the later stages the small filariae change into infective stage. After taking a blood meal the insects put these filariae into the fat layer of skin. The larva changes into different forms and ultimately becomes an adult worm.

The people who are affected by this disorder are known as the micro filaraemic. It depends on the presence or absence of the micro flora. It is resent in the blood. It is diagnosed with the help of peripheral blood. There is another type of disorder which is known as the occult filariasis in which the diagnosis is done with the help of a circulating antigen present in blood.

What are the signs and symptoms of Lymphatic filariasis?

It includes the swelling as well as thickening. It involves the underlying tissues and it was the first disease to be transmitted with the help of a mosquito bite. It occurs when the parasite moves into the lymphatic system. It mainly affects the lower extremities and less commonly involves the ears, membranes as well as mucus. There are other forms of this disorder which affect the vulva, breasts as well as scrotum. The chronic cases have an adverse reaction to the different types of worms.

There are sub cutaneous worms which include the rashes, papules, arthritis as well as pigmented maculae. The common cause of blindness is the O Volvulus. It can also lead to pain in the abdomen as the worms are present deep in the tissue.

How Lymphatic filariasis can be diagnosed?

The most common method of diagnosis is the Giemsa stained blood film. As the micro organisms circulate at night and the blood must be drawn at that time. The decrease in peripheral temperature may also add up small filariae. The other method is the concentration method. In these methods one does a membrane filter, sedimentation technique as well as the knots concentration method. One can also go for the polymerase chain reaction. There are few spots tests which can be done at are quite sensitive than other fluids. One can aspirate the fluid from lymph nodes so that small filariae can be seen. There are few imaging techniques which have been quite helpful. It includes the CT and MRI. The calcified adult worm is seen in the x ray. There is a provocation test which helps to know about the satisfy number of parasites. PCR helps to know about the circulating filarial antigen. One can also do Xeno diagnosis.

How Lymphatic filariasis can be treated?

The recommended treatment for this disorder is albendazole. It is a broad spectrum anti helminthic. One can also use the combination of di ethyl carbamazine and albendazole. Doxycycline is the other common antibiotic which is used. The filarial parasites have symbiotic bacteria in Wolbachia which are present inside the worm. The antibiotics kill the symbiotic bacteria and the worms also die. There must be a 2 month course so that the bacteria are removed completely.

How Lymphatic filariasis can be prevented?

This disease can be eradicated and the infection transmission can be stopped by the use of different medicines. With the use of proper treatment there is a decrease in the number of parasites and the chances of transmission of disease become nil. The worms are no more and the cycle is broken.

This disorder can be prevented by the mass distribution of medicines. It kills the worms and there is a stoppage of transmission of parasites. In few countries albendazole is used in combination with the ivermectin. But mostly in rest part of the world albendazole is used. One must use a combination of treatment and it decreases the number of parasites. One can use insecticide treated mosquito bed net and decreases the transmission of malaria as well as other parasites. It is quite common in Africa.

One must have a global programme so that the parasites are removed. It prevents the new cases so that the children can be prevented. The progression of disease can be stopped in the people who are already suffering from the disease.