Elephantiasis or Filariasis – Class 12 | Chapter – 8 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Elephantiasis or Filariasis: Wuchereria (W. bancrofti and W. malayi), the filarial worms cause a slowly developing chronic inflammation of the organs in which they live for many years, usually the lymphatic vessels of the lower limbs and the disease is called elephantiasis or filariasis. The genital organs are also often affected, resulting in gross deformities. The pathogens are transmitted to a healthy person through the bite by the female mosquito vectors.

Cause and transmission of Elephantiasis or Filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea. There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms:

  • Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases
  • Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases
  • Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.

Symptoms of Elephantiasis or Filariasis

The filariasis elephantiasis symptoms include:

  • Swelling in:
    • legs
    • Arms
    • Genitals
    • Breasts
  • Damaged lymph system resulting in an impaired immune system.
  • Repeated bacterial infections of the skin.
  • Fevers
  • Chills

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By Team Learning Mantras