Worms Essay

917 words - 4 pages

Bio 54

2002

Filarial Worms I : Structure, Infection, & Disease
Andrew G. Campbell, Ph.D.

Parasitic Filarial Worms - Background
• Thread-like worms transmitted by insect vectors (flies and mosquitoes) • collectively infect AT LEAST 100 million worldwide • considered major obstacles to development in endemic countries • "major players" – Wuchereria bancrofti / Brugia malayi lymphatic filariasis – Onchocerca volvulus - river blindness – Loa loa - loaiasis

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Today’s Lecture
•Taxonomy •Lymphatic Filariae •Nonlymphatic Filariae •Disease •Diagnosis, Treatment, & Control

KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY GENUS/SPECIES Wuchereria bancrofti Brugia malayi

ANIMALIA NEMATODA ...view middle of the document...

1 year)

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Adult worms
• mature within 1 year from infectious larvae • mature sizes
– females: 8 cm (3 inches) by 0.3 mm – males: 4 cm (1.5 inches) by 0.1 mm

• live within the lumen of lymph vessels, where they pair and produce microfilariae • continue shedding microfilariae for at least 4 years (possibly as long as 40 years!)

W. bancrofti adult male, x4.

Microfilariae (MF)
• extremely small in comparison to adults (approx. 0.3 mm vs. 4-8 cm) • produced by actively mating adult pair and migrate to bloodstream • can survive in the host for as long as 1.5 years • must be ingested by mosquito in order to continue development • develop, but do not multiply, in the insect vector • in most cases nocturnally periodic

W. bancrofti microfilaria

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Microfilarial (MF) periodicity
• MF numbers in the blood of humans are typically high at night and low/absent during the day • possible basis for periodicity – oxygen tension of the peripheral blood? – parasite circadian rhythm? experiments that reverse sleeping patterns or manipulate O2 levels alter MF periodicity • optimal parasite acquisition occurs when microfilariae peak numbers coincide with female mosquito feeding patterns • when not in peripheral blood, microfilariae aggregate in lung capillaries

Disease caused by lymphatic filariae
• presence of adult worms in lymphatics causes inflammation, dilation of the vessel, and some obstruction of lymph flow • immune responses are ellicited by dead and dying worms, leading to fibrosis of the vessel wall with subsequent blockage of lymph flow (lymphedema) • lymphedema can lead to disfiguring abnormalities such as elephantiasis (enlargement of affected organs) • it is generally thought that development of elephantiasis requires repeated and protracted infection

Cross section of lymph vessel occupied by adult W. bancrofti ,x54

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Examples of severe Elephantiasis

Several cases of megascrotum

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Disease caused by microfilariae
• microfilariae of lymphatic filariae do not appear to be very immunostimulatory and thus are not believed to be responsible for pathology in most infected persons • some persons develop a hypersensitivity syndrome known...

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