Lymphatic Filariasis. B.Ganesh Regional Filaria Training & Research Centre National Institute of Communicable Diseases Kozhikode. Lymphatic Filariasis. Infection with 3 closely related Nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti Brugia malayi Brugia timori
Regional Filaria Training & Research Centre
National Institute of Communicable Diseases
Infection with 3 closely related Nematodes
* Transmitted by the bite of infected mosquito responsible for considerable sufferings/deformity and disability
* All the parasites have similar life cycle in man
* Adults seen in Lymphatic vessels
* Offsprings seen in peripheral blood during night
Disease manifestation range from
Global Distribution Map
at risk : 1.2 Billion
(in 16 States & 5 UT’s)
(Wb - 99.4 % and Bm - 0.6 %)
1.Demonstration of microfilarae in the peripheral blood
a. Thick blood smear: 2-3 drops of free flowing blood by finger prick method, stained with JSB-II
b. Membrane filtration method: 1-2 ml intravenous blood filtered through 3µm pore size membrane filter
c. DEC provocative test (2mg/Kg): After consuming DEC, mf enters into the peripheral blood in day time within 30 - 45 minutes.
QBC will identify the microfilariae and will help in studying the morphology. Though quick it is not sensitive than blood smear examination.
Ultrasonography using a 7.5 MHz or 10 MHz probe can locate and visualize the movements of living adult worms of W.b. in the scrotal lymphatics of asymptomatic males with microfilaraemia. The constant thrashing movements described as “Filaria dance sign” can be visualized.
The structure and function of the lymphatics of the involved limbs can be assessed by lymphoscintigraphy after injecting radio-labelled albumin or dextran in the web space of the toes. The structural changes can be imaged using a Gamma camera. Lymphatic dilation & obstruction can be directly demonstrated even in early clinically asymptomatic stage of the disease.
6. X-ray Diagnosis:
X-ray are helpful in the diagnosis of Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia.
Picture will show interstial thickening, diffused nodular mottling.
7. Haematology : Increase in eosinophil count
Chronic (Obstructive) lesions takes 10-15 years. This is due to the permanent damage to the lymph vessels caused by the adult worms, the pathological changes causing dilation of the lymph vessels due to recurrent inflammatory episodes leading to endothelial proliferation and inflammatory granulomnatous reaction around the parasite. Initially, it starts with pitting oedema which gives rise to browny oedema leading to hardening he tissues. Still late, hyper pigmentation, caratosis, wart like lesions are developed. Eg. Hydrocele (40-60%), Elephantiasis of Scrotum, Penis, Leg, Arm, Vulva, Breast, Chyluria.
# Community-level care of those with disease
Remarkable advances in the treatment of LF have recently been achieved focusing not on individual but on community with infection, with the goal of reducing mf in the community, to levels below which successful transmission will not occur.
Drugs effective against filarial parasites
Treatment of microfilaraemic patients may prevent chronic obstructive disease and may be repeated every 6 months till mf and/or symptoms disappears.
The most distressing aspect of LF is the acute attacks of ADL, which results in considerable economic loss and deterioration of quality of life. Prompt treatment and prevention of ADL are of paramount importance. ADL may be seen both in early & late stages of the disease. It is due to the infection & inflammation of the skin and affected area due to entry of bacteria or fungus through the entry lesions. The skin becomes warm, tender, painful, swollen, red. Patient develops fever, headache, chills and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Occasionally becomes septicemic.
Early treatment with drugs may destroy the adult worms and logically prevent the later development of lymphoedema. Once lymphoedema is established there is no cure and the “foot care programme” may offer relief and prevent acute attacks thus preventing further progression of the swelling.
Basic Components and Benefits
2. Prevention & cure of entry lesions
4. Elevation of foot
5. Use of proper footwares
Lymphoedema management helps
The current strategy of filariasis control (Elimination) is based on:
1. Interruption of transmission
2. Control of Morbidity
Interruption of the transmission can be achieved through:
An integrated programme is in place for the control of lymphatic filariasis. Earlier, vector control was the main method of control. There are three main reasons why filariasis never causes explosive epidemics
Vector control involves anti larval measures, anti adult measures, personal prophylaxis. An integrated method using all the vector control measures alone will bring about sustained vector control.
I. Anti larval measures:
1. Chemical control
2. Removal of pistia plants
3. Minor environmental measures
II. Anti adult measures:
Anti adult measures as indoor residual spay using DDT, HCH and Dieldrin. Pyrethrum as a space spray is also followed.
III. Personal Prophylaxis:
Reduction of man mosquito contact by using mosquito nets, screening of houses, etc.
# Community-level care of those with disease