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1-min read

Filariasis: Your Mosquito Bite Can be a Breeding Nest for Parasitic Worms

Patients can suffer from lymphoedema of the limbs, genital diseases like hydrocele, chylocele, and swelling of the scrotum and penis and extremely painful recurrent acute attacks accompanied by fever.

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Updated:August 29, 2019, 1:58 PM IST
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Filariasis: Your Mosquito Bite Can be a Breeding Nest for Parasitic Worms
Representative image. (Image: Reuters)
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Filariasis is caused by round, coiled and thread-like parasitic worms, belonging to the family Filarioidea, that penetrate the skin either on their own or through the opening created by mosquito bites to reach the lymphatic system.

These are Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and Brugia timori. Male worms which are about 3–4 centimetres in length, and female worms which are 8–10 centimetres long together form “nests” in the human lymphatic system, an essential component of the body’s immune system.

Patients can suffer from lymphoedema of the limbs, genital diseases like hydrocele, chylocele, and swelling of the scrotum and penis and extremely painful recurrent acute attacks accompanied by fever. The vast majority of infected people are asymptomatic, but virtually all of them have subclinical lymphatic damage and as many as 40% have kidney damage, with proteinuria and haematuria.

Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a disfiguring and disabling disease generally acquired during childhood.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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