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Is everyone infected with filaria will have swollen leg

  1. Sep 15, 2013 #1
    My cousin from India is detected with filaria in the initial stage. His blood test when consulted doctor was,

    Eosinophil count (Haematology) 376(50-400/cmm)
    Og4C3 (Serology) Wkly +ve 256 ELISA (upto 128 A.U).

    The pathologist told him, the values of blood test report were small.

    He is conscious that his leg will start to swell. He has taken medicines, now what. The doctor never tell him to come and visit again. Now, its 9 month and no problem yet.

    Is everyone who is infected with filaria parasite and medicated in the initial stage, will still have swollen leg.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2013 #2


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    I am not a doctor and I am not familiar with the healthcare system in India. Filariasis can be treated in a number of different ways, but no individual regimen seems to be based on a longer than 2 month period. If your cousin is asymptomatic at 9 mos, it is possible that he should not suffer additional symptoms. It is possible that the infection was detected at an early enough stage that he did not develop all of the symptoms typical in a more advanced case.

    In the US, it is standard practice to followup with the doctor after receiving treatment. A new blood test might be able to determine if your cousin needs further treatment.
  4. Sep 16, 2013 #3
    Fortunately, no. Only a fraction of those infected will develop the deformities associated with lymphatic filariasis in endemic areas (where nearly everyone is infected). This is the takeaway from the following article, which is fairly technical.


    Humans are the only host for the filaria, Wuchereria bancrofti, the most common cause of filariasis. So eliminating the microfilaria from human hosts holds promise for eliminating the infection in endemic areas. However the drugs that kill microfilaria (the juvenile forms) do not have as much effect on the adult form which lodge in the lymphatic system. Currently, up to two doses a year for about 7 years is required to eliminate the infection (the resistant adults just die off).


    WHO fact sheet and recommendations: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs102/en/
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  5. Sep 22, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the reply.

    As the adult worms doesn't die with medication, isn't it, still continue to give birth to microfilaria and increase its number i.e even after medication as in my cousin case because he was given medicine only for two weeks after he got detected and the doctor hasn't said him to continue further treatment.


    Is it, after completion of medicine, the adult worm will not be capable to give birth to microfilaria and become adults.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  6. Sep 22, 2013 #5
    The adult worms have a life span of about 7-8 years. If you keep the microfilaria under control with medication for that amount of time, no new adults should develop and the old resistant adults will die off. The current treatment regimen consists of just one or two doses (treatments) of a two anti-filarial drug combination per year. Your cousin should check with his doctor to see when his next treatment is due.

    Note, it's important that the whole population in your cousin's area be treated or he is at risk to be reinfected if he stays in an endemic area.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
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