Filariasis is the disease caused by the infestation of filarial worms. It is characterized by inflammation. It is spread by the insect vectors, such as mosquitoes and black flies. Since its causative agent is a filarial worm, which is a helminth, the disease is regarded as one of the various forms of helminthiases.
In humans, the filariae causing filariasis are classified into three types: (1) lymphatic filariasis, (2) subcutaneous filariasis, and (3) serous cavity filariasis. In lymphatic filariasis, the filarial worms Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori are the species associated with it. They occur in the lymphatic system of the vertebrate hosts. In subcutaneous filariasis, the filariae Loa loa, Mansonella streptocerca, and Onchocerca volvulus are involved in producing such disease. These roundworms are found in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. The roundworms Mansonella perstans and Mansonella ozzardi are the ones that cause serous cavity filariasis in human hosts. They are found in the serous cavity of the abdomen.
Filariasis, if left untreated, could lead to severe cases such as elephantiasis and blindness.
- lymphatic filariasis
- subcutaneous filariasis
- serous cavity filariasis
- definitive host
- intermediate host