what is microfilaria?
Microfilaria is the term used to refer to the larva of a certain parasitic nematode, i.e., filariae when it is still in an early larval stage. These parasites are released into the bloodstream of the host by the adult parasites. And hence, these embryonic larvae are usually found in the blood of an infected person. This parasitic nematode, filariae, belongs to the family of Onchocercidae. And they are the cause behind the diseases such as elephantiasis, river blindness, Loa loa filariasis and so on.
type of microfilariae
There are eight different type of filarial nematodes which are known for using humans as their host. Some of them are also responsible for infections in animals. In animals, Heartworm microfilariae are the main culprit behind the infection. These eight types of filarial nematodes are further divided into three categories depending on the part of the body they occupy.
- Lymphatic filariasis: It includes, Wuchereria ancrofti, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori, these parasites occupy the lymphatic system of the body.
- Subcutaneous filariasis: This category includes Loa loa, Onchocerca volvulus, and Mansonella streptocerca. The parasites of this category occupy the subcutaneous layer of one’s skin.
- Serous cavity filariasis: It includes Dirofilaria immitis, Mansonella ozzardi, and Mansonella perstans. The microfilarial worms under this category occupy the serous cavity of one’s abdomen.
what are some of the causes of the spread of microfilaria?
Typically, this parasitic nematode goes through 5 different stages of development. Blood-feeding black flies and mosquitoes are the main culprits behind the spread of these parasites. These type of parasites have to infect more than one host species to complete their life cycles. So once the female is ready to give birth, she releases thousands of eggs in her host’s body. As the second step, these eggs are taken up by a vector insect, i.e., black flies or mosquitoes when they feast on the body of an adult’s host body. These eggs enter the third-stage of their life cycle, i.e., larval stage, once they are inside the vector insect. Now, when these infected insects bite another species, the parasitic larvae gets transmitted into the dermis layer of the skin. And, inside their second host, these larvae moults further to develop into the adults.
diagnosis of microfilariae smear
A microfilaria test involves examination of the blood smear to identify the existence of microfilariae in blood. Usually, a microfilariae blood test is conducted at night to coincide with the appearance of microfilariae. The microfilaria test procedure requires a blood sample either from the finger prick, earlobe or venous blood. There are a number of tests to identify the presence of microfilariae in one’s body. Some of such tests are includes, Thick blood smear, thin blood smear, membrane filtration method, quantitative blood count, serological test and so on.
For pets, annual heartworm microfilariae test is recommended to ensure that your pets are not infected by this serious disease.
Some of the microfilariae symptoms in humans may include the following symptoms:
• Skin exfoliation
• Testicular pain
• Genital or limb swelling
The use of DEC (diethylcarbamazine) is quite common against the diseases caused by filariasis as part of microfilariae treatment in humans. Usually, a single dose of 6mg per kg of body weight for about 3 weeks is administered. Ivermectin can also be made use of, but it is generally more effective against the parasites of Brigia and Bancrofti. Maintaining proper hygiene is another key to a fast recovery against these.
when do you need us?
Falling prey to these parasites could be really troublesome. And within 24 to 48 hours after the therapy starts, a patient might come across the side-effects of the therapy, i.e., nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and joint pains. This is when Portea will come to your rescue. At Portea, we understand the discomfort one may have to go through in such condition. To ensure utmost comfort and fast recovery, our team of expert doctors can provide medicare and therapy sessions from the comfort of your home.
how we can help?
The Medical conditions caused by microfilariae requires prompt attention and expert’s advice. Our doctors will ensure that good hygiene is maintained to provide necessary support to you. Moreover, all the lab tests will be conducted from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is to trust our team of doctors and focus on your recovery.
Diseases caused by microfilariae may cause huge damage to your body, such blindness if left without proper the medical care. Ensure that you seek medical attention if you come across the symptoms and always ensure to maintain good hygiene.