I did my report on filariasis, which is
more commonly known as elephantiasis.
Elephantiasis is the late phase of filariasis. Filariasis
is a tropical mosquito born parasitic disease
causing obstruction of the lymph vessels. In some
people the presence of the worm causes a tissue
reaction that causes the lymph flow to be blocked.
This blockage produces lymphedema which is a
swelling and can eventually lead to a tremendous
enlargement of an extremity or organ. When
elephantiasis follows repeated infection, parts of
the body -- particularly the legs -- become grossly
enlarged and the surrounding skin hardens and
ulcerates. Certain types of elephantiasis can be
treated surgically. Elephantiasis of the legs is
usually treated with elastic bandages and frequent
elevation of the legs. The leg and foot, may swell
to elephantine size. There may be allergic reactions
like itching and localized swelling. The body may
also react by causing calcium tissue to be
deposited around the worm, walling it off and
eventually causing its death. In humans, the mature
worm lives tightly coiled in the lymphatic vessels
where they reproduce. The female holds the
fertilized eggs in her body. Later the embryos,
called microfilariae, are discharged alive. An
interesting feature of these worms is the periodic
swarming of the microfilariae in the bloodstream.
In most species swarming takes place at night. The
embryos can be taken up by an insect only when
they are in a human\'s bloodstream. They develope
into infective larvae in the insect, which is the
intermediate host. These hosts are various genera
of mosquitoes, notably A?des, Anopheles, and
Culex. Within 10 to 11 days after ingestion by a
human skin they migrate to the lymphayic vessels
where they mature and reproduce. There isn\'t
really any prevention to this disease. Bibliography
Drimmer, Frederick; THE ELEPHANT MAN;
Putnam Publishers; New York, 1985
H.S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers; Westport, CT.;
1983 ed., vol. 2, pp. 527 "Filariasis", COLLIER\'S
ENCYCLOPEDIA; Macmillan Educational
Company New York, Maxwell Macmillan
Canada, Maxwell Macmillan International
Publishing Group; New York, Oxford, Sydney;
1991 ed., col. 9, pp. 698-699

Category: Science