The clinical description of the disease elephantiasis or filariasis
The arms and legs are the areas most often affected.
Lymphatic tissue may be removed by surgery or radiation therapy. Surgery may be used to treat some people with filariasis who develop an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the scrotum hydrocele.
The two species of worms most often associated with this disease are Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi. In the tropical areas of the world, mosquito control is an important part of prevention of filariasis.
Because lymphedema may develop many years after infection, lab tests are often negative with these patients.
Even after the adult worms die, lymphedema can develop. Although the legs, arms and external genitalia are most often affected, elephantiasis can affect any area of the body.
Social and economic impact Filarial diseases are the most devastating of the neglected tropical diseases in terms of social and economic impact. When the infected mosquito bites another person, the microscopic worms pass from the mosquito through the skin, and travel to the lymph vessels. In cases where the male genitals have been affected, reconstructive surgery on the penis and scrotum has been successful. Investigational Therapies Information on current clinical trials is posted on the Internet at www. The medicines used have a limited effect on adult parasites but effectively reduce the density of microfilariae in the bloodstream and prevent the spread of parasites to mosquitoes. People living for a long time in tropical or sub-tropical areas where the disease is common are at the greatest risk for infection. You can ask your physician for a referral to see a lymphedema therapist for specialized care.
based on 10 review