About the book
Filariasis is an unregarded tropical disease in the world; and it is the most prevalent cause for secondary lymphedema. The parasites causing Filariasis are microscopically long filarial nematods. Depending on the type of the filarial worm, the infection may occur in the lymphatic system, subcutaneous tissues, deep connective tissues or conjunctiva. Filarial nematods are different from other nematods by being viviparous. Definite hosts of filariae are humans. Transmission to humans may be via different vectors; female mosquitoes being the the main one.
Main types of important health problems that occur in humans are: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori, Onchocerca volvulus, Loa loa, Mansonella ozzardi, Dipetolonema perstans, Dipetolonema streptocerca, Dirofilaria repens, Dirofilaria tenuis, Dirofilaria immitis, and Dracunculu smedinensis.
Epidemiologically Filarisis is estimated to be prevalent in more than 120 million people worldwide. Mostly it is prevalent in hot and humid subtropical regions. Countries where filariasis may be found in Asia: Amman, China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ceylon, Malaysia and Thailand; in the Mediterranean region: Spain, Italy, Macedonia; in Africa: (between 150 North and 130 South parallels) Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Egypt; and in Central America: Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Caribbean, Guyana.
Clinical manifestation may vary from painful inflammatory swellings of lymph nodes in acute infections to lymphedema due to blockage of lymphatic system in chronic cases. The diagnosis firstly depends on the “suggestive symptoms”. Blood tests such as Indirect Hemaglutination (IHA), Enzym-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) are indirect diagnostic tests and PCR. Definitive diagnosis depends on direct identification of microfilariae in blood samples or involved-tissue biopsies. The treatment of choice in Filariasis is a combined regimen of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) 6 mg/kg, ivermectin 150 mg/kg and albendazole (ALB) 400 mg single-administration. Prevention: Treatment of patients with filariasis and vector control is possible