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THE ELEPHANT DECEASE ~ Man with massive scrotal elephantiasis, Tanzania, early 20th century. Elephantiasis occurs in the presence of microscopic, thread-like parasitic worms such as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and B. timori, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Lymphatic filariasis affects over 120 million people, primarily in Africa and South-East Asia, with about 40 million disfigured and incapacitated by the disease.


Elephantiasis, also known as Lymphatic filariasis is a tropical disease leading to an elephant-like skin swelling of the lower limb and genitals. Infection occurs when filarial parasites ( worms) are transmitted to humans though infected mosquito bites. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system. Photo by Tropenmuseum Amsterdam.


Parasitic worm infection may double HIV risk: study BERLIN : People infected with a common parasitic worm may be twice as likely to acquire HIV than people who are not infected with it a new study has claimed. W bancrofti causes most cases of lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Lymphatic filariasis currently affects 120 million people (mostly in Asia Africa the western Pacific and parts of the Caribbean and South America) and causes abnormal enlargement of limbs…

Elephantiasis caused by lymphatic filariasis.This patient was most likely infected by Wuchereria bancrofti, as Brugia malayi and Brugia timori are very regionally-specific to the areas around Timor and Malaysia. W. bancrofti was originally endemic only to West and Central Africa, until it was introduced to the Caribbean and Southern United States by the slave trade. There was an unusually high prevalence around Charleston, South Carolina, until it suddenly disappeared in the early 1920s.


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