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Lymphatic Filariasis. Jack Prior, Ryan M. Murphy, and Aliya Robbins. What is Lymphatic Filariasis?. Parasitic disease where worms enter the blood stream through numerous mosquito bites over a number of years.

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Lymphatic Filariasis

Jack Prior, Ryan M. Murphy, and Aliya Robbins

what is lymphatic filariasis
What is Lymphatic Filariasis?
  • Parasitic disease where worms enter the blood stream through numerous mosquito bites over a number of years.
  • Affects 120 million individuals in over 80 countries in the tropical regions due to stagnant water and poor irrigation systems
  • Pre-1876
    • The only known symptom of this disease was elephantiasis because of its outward appearance.
  • 600BC
    • Ancient Hindu medical workers referred to elephantiasis in Sanskrit texts.
  • 600- 250BC
    • Men affected by elephantiasis were not allowed to become Buddhist priests.
  • 10th- 13th Centuries
    • Persian and European physicians have accurate descriptions of elephantiasis.
  • 1876
    • Joseph Bancroft discovered the parasite that causes lymphatic filariasis in an abscess on the arm of a butcher.
  • White, slender roundworms
  • Three types: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori
  • Live for 5-7 years, produce millions of offspring
  • Block the lymphatic system
    • Network of channels and lymph nodes that help maintain fluid levels in the body
    • Blockage leads to edema (collection of fluid in tissues)
  • Fever
  • Kidney damage
  • Skin abnormalities due to bacterial infection.
  • Elephantiasis
    • Swelling of limbs and genitalia
    • Male: Enlargement of scrotum, penis retracted under skin, spermatic cords thickened
    • Female: Long tumorous mass covered by thickened ulcerated skin develops on the vulva
social impact of disease
Social Impact of Disease
  • Sexual Disability
  • Communities frequently shun those disfigured.
  • Inability to work
  • Women with visible signs may never marry or spouses and families will reject them.
personal account
Personal Account

June/July 1996: 29-participant study done by Jennine Coreil in Haiti

  • Lack of Mobility:
    • “I had a child to be baptized and I had to send someone to stand in my place as father”
  • Embarrassment:
    • “When I went to school I felt very embarrassed. I didn’t have the desire to go back.”
    • “The hardest part for me is having to get help from someone to pee”
personal accounts
Personal Accounts
  • Lack of Knowledge:
    • “When I was little I was playing in the street and a truck’s tire ran over my feet.”
    • “I thought the injury made my foot ‘cold’ and that is what made my foot become big.”
  • Lack of Trust in Doctors:
    • “When you go to the hungan’s house, your foot gets even bigger.”
  • Severity:
    • “I ask for death because it makes me very sick. I have been suffering with this for 35 years.”
  • Until recently, very difficult to diagnose
    • Nocturnal periodicity: The worms can only be detected in the blood of those infected around the hour of midnight.
  • New specific card test: Detects parasites using only finger prick blood tests any time of day.
  • Ultrasound can identify rapidly moving adult worms.
treatment and management of elephantiasis
Treatment and Management of Elephantiasis
  • Prevention
    • Mosquito nets, insect repellents
  • Voodoo healing techniques
  • Elevate and exercise affected body part
  • Skin treatment
    • Wash area twice daily
    • Antibacterial cream
  • CDP (Complex decongestive physiotherapy)
    • Lymph drainage, massage, compressive bandages
management and treatment of lymphatic filariasis
Management and Treatment of Lymphatic Filariasis
  • Currently Used:
    • Antifilarial drugs (DEC and ivermectin) are useful against larval offspring
  • Testing:
    • Doxycycline
      • Tested on a Tanzanian village.
      • Found to almost completely eliminate adult worms 14 months after treatment.
      • Sustained loss of larval offspring for 8-14 months after treatment.
    • Albendazole and DEC
      • Given together once a year
      • Found to be 99% effective in removing microfilariae from blood for full year after treatment
world epidemic
World Epidemic
  • Continuing to grow throughout the global community.
  • Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis
    • Strategy: stop spread of infection, alleviate suffering of infected individuals by using albendazole and DEC
  • Other plans: Papua, New Guinea: utilization of church eldership
work cited
Work Cited
  • www.
  • Seppa, Nathan Attack on Elephantiasis, Science News; 6/25/2005, Vol. 167 Issue 26, p404-405, 2p