What Is A River Blindness Disease?

March 22 22:34 2019 Print This Article

It is defined as a disorder in which there is a parasite infection caused due to the O Volvulus. It is a nematode which is a round worm. It is the second most common cause of blindness. The increase in inflammatory response is seen in the case of W Pipientis. It causes blindness. The parasite moves from the bite of black fly. It belongs to the genus Simulium. The larva spreads throughout the body. With the death of worm the Wolbachia are released that may lead to start off the immune system. It leads to increase in the itching as well as can affect the nearby tissue. It can involve the eyes too.

In the sub Sahara Africa most of the infections occur. But the cases have also been seen in other parts of the world. There are many million people which are affected by this disorder.

The treatment is done with the help of an ivermectin. Most of the people are treated at the same time. The single dose is quite effective and kills the larvas which are of first stage. It prevents the transmission for few months. One can also use tetracycline as well as the doxycycline. It kills the parasite and makes the nematode sterile. It is female. The nodules must also be removed. It is also known as onchocerciasis.

What are the signs and symptoms of River blindness disease?

It includes the adult worms which are present in the skin. Their entry to the host immune system is limited. The micro filarie gives inflammatory reaction which is quite intense. It can lead to even death. These micro filarie gives rise to W. surface protein. It activates TLR 2 and TLR 4. It starts the immune response and leads to inflammation as well as death. The parasite is the endo symbiont with other species.

The illness severity is related to the number of infected parasites along with the power of inflammatory response.

It involves the skin which has swelling, inflammation as well as itching. It has a different grading system. It includes the acute papular river blindness, chronic papular river blindness, atrophy of the skin, de pigmentation as well as lichenified river blindness.

In the case of acute papular river blindness there are small papules.

In the case of chronic papular river blindness there are large papules.

In the case of atrophy of the skin there is no elasticity and there is a lizard skin look.

In the case of de pigmentation the skin looks like leopard and is present on the anterior lower leg.

In the case of lichenified river blindness there are hyper pigmented papules as well as plaques. There is edema as well as lymphadenopathy. There are other bacterial infections too.

This disorder involves the eyes as well as other parts like cornea as well as conjunctiva. It may include retina as well as optic nerve. The small filarie move to the surface of cornea. In the infected area there is a punctuate keratitis. With the inflammation gone than the infection subsides and the wound heals. In the case of chronic infection than the sclerosing keratitis can occur. It becomes opaque. It may lead to blindness. The effect on cornea occurs due to the immune response.

What is the classification of River blindness disease?

It includes the acute papular river blindness, chronic papular river blindness, atrophy of the skin, de pigmentation as well as lichenified river blindness.

In the case of acute papular river blindness there are small papules.
In the case of chronic papular river blindness there are large papules.
In the case of atrophy of the skin there is no elasticity and there is a lizard skin look.

In the case of de pigmentation the skin looks like leopard and is present on the anterior lower leg.

In the case of lichenified river blindness there are hyper pigmented papules as well as plaques. There is edema as well as lymphadenopathy. There are other bacterial infections too.

How River blindness disease can be diagnosed?

It includes the use of visual examination as well as history taking.

How River blindness disease can be treated?

It can be treated with the help of an ivermectin. Most of the people are treated at the same time. The single dose is quite effective and kills the larvas which are of first stage. It prevents the transmission for few months. One can also use tetracycline as well as the doxycycline. Ivermectin must be given at interval of 6 months. It is given after every 3 years. The drug kills the small parasite which may lead to itching, fever as well as the oedema and arthritis. It can also lead to lymph adenopathy. The skin itching is relieved and the progress to blindness is stopped. The drug does not kill the adult worm but it makes them sterile. So, both the transmission as well as morbidity is prevented. This drug has a good safety value and there is a need of minimum training for it.

Antibiotics also play a good role in it. It includes the use of doxycycline as well as rifampicin. The doxycycline must be given daily and they have a problem in the administration in affected areas.

How River blindness disease can be prevented?

It includes the avoidance of any irritating factor. There are many public health programmes which can be under taken to control the disease. It includes the OCP which stands for onchocerciasis control programme. It was launched in the year 1974. It covered many million people worldwide. One can use larvicide spray to prevent this problem. One can also use ivermectin in which the single dose is quite effective and kills the larvas which are of first stage. It prevents the transmission for few months. This programme is a joint venture of world health organization as well as the united nation development bank as well as food and agriculture organization.

In the year 1992 OEPA was launched and it stands for the for onchocerciasis elimination programme for the Americans. One can also use ivermectin in which the single dose is quite effective and kills the larvas which are of first stage. It prevents the transmission for few months.

In the year 1995 APOC was launched and it stands for the African Programme for onchocerciasis control. One can also use ivermectin in which the single dose is quite effective and kills the larvas which are of first stage. It prevents the transmission for few months. So, the transmission has decreased.

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