Filarial elephantiasis is a tropical disease secondary to infection with the worms Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and B. timori.
It is transmitted by mosquito, which deposits human blood infected with larvae into the new host. The larvae migrate in lymphatics where they grow into adults.
Chronic inflammation results and eventually leads to lymph stasis and limb swelling. Enlargement of lymph nodes can occur, and can be associated with pain, fever and sweats.
- Diethylcarbazmine has been the treatment of choice.
- Ivermectin 100-200 m/kg orally may well supplant diethylcarbazmine.
- Gross elephantiasis may be improved by the surgical removal of excess tissue.