Filariasis Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Methods

Table of contents:

Filariasis Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Methods
Filariasis Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Methods

Video: Filariasis Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Methods

Video: Filariasis Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Methods
Video: Filariasis 2023, December

The main symptoms and signs of filariasis


  • 1 What are filarias?
  • 2 Stages of the disease
  • 3 The main symptoms of the disease at an early stage

    • 3.1 Hydrocele as one of the symptoms of filariasis
    • 3.2 Funiculitis in men
  • 4 Signs of the disease arising in the second and third stages
  • 5 Treatment of the disease

The symptoms of filariasis depend on the severity of the disease. The disease is prevalent mainly in the tropical continent. In some cases, filariasis leads to disability. It causes serious changes in the lymphatic system and other organs, complicating the patient's usual life.

Lymphatic filariasis is often called elephantiasis. With this pathology, the outflow of excess fluid is often difficult, edema occurs. The affected limbs reach enormous sizes. With a severe form of filariasis, the patient is indicated for surgical intervention.


What are filarias?

Filariae are round parasites. In total, there are more than 380 varieties of these helminths. Filariae are shaped like a thread. The length of adult parasites is about 10 cm. Outside, the filaria are covered with cuticles. It is a dense tissue under which muscle fibers are located. These muscle fibers allow the filaria to move actively.

In the human body, parasites usually choose the lymphatic system as their habitat. Filariae are also found in the subcutaneous fatty tissue, the tissues of the scrotum in the stronger sex, and the mammary glands in women.


Disease stages

The symptoms of filariasis largely depend on the stage of the disease. There are three main stages of helminthiasis, which are presented in the table.

This stage can last up to six months. The starting point is the moment when the patient is bitten by an infected insect Due to the active reproduction of parasites, the process of outflow of blood and lymph is hampered. At this stage, there is often such a consequence as elephantiasis. It implies a pathological increase in the volume of a separate part of the human body.

The main symptoms of the disease at an early stage

At the first stage of the disease, such unfavorable signs appear:

  1. The appearance of irritation on the skin. The patient often experiences pain due to an allergy to toxins that are secreted by filarias;
  2. An increase in the size of the lymph nodes;
  3. The onset of pathologies of the respiratory system: allergic bronchitis or asthma;
  4. Inflammatory process in the tissues of the joints, a decrease in their mobility;
  5. The onset of mastitis in women;
  6. The appearance of a hydrocele or funiculitis in the stronger sex.


Hydrocele as one of the symptoms of filariasis

In genital filariasis, the genitourinary system is affected. Hydrocele often occurs in men. It is accompanied by the accumulation of excess fluid in the testicle area. Symptoms of the disease often appear suddenly. In the acute form of hydrocele, the affected half of the scrotum rapidly increases in size.

More information on hydrocele can be obtained from the corresponding table.

  • general weakness;
  • increased body temperature;
  • loss of appetite.

In the absence of proper treatment, the disease becomes chronic. In this case, the patient complains of a feeling of heaviness in the genital area. With an advanced form of hydrocele, it becomes difficult for the patient to move around due to the huge size of the scrotum. A representative of the stronger sex has problems in sexual activity, urination is difficult. In the chronic form of the disease, the pain syndrome is usually mild. In some cases, the patient has a dull pain in the scrotum

Pathology treatment Complications of hydrocele

When a hydrocele occurs, antibiotic therapy is often performed. A man needs complete rest and wearing a suspensor - a special bandage.

In the treatment of the disease, folk methods are actively used:

  1. You can scroll raw chamomile herb through a meat grinder. The resulting gruel is applied to the affected area at least three times a day.
  2. 10 grams of chopped grass of coltsfoot is mixed with the same amount of sweet clover flowers. The resulting mixture must be poured with 200 ml of boiling water. After that, it is filtered. It is necessary to take 40 ml of the resulting infusion twice a day.

With complete recovery, the affected testicular tissue is restored, blood supply in the pelvic region is normalized. If conservative therapy is ineffective, the patient needs surgery. With an advanced form of dropsy of the testicle, hydrocelectomy is performed or excess fluid is eliminated by puncture

Hydrocele can lead to the following consequences:

  • the appearance of pus in the scrotum. This complication is accompanied by a deterioration in well-being, a sharp increase in body temperature, the spread of inflammation to surrounding tissues;
  • testicular atrophy. It develops due to compression of the vessels that supply the testicle with blood;
  • rupture of the testicular membranes. The cause of this complication is the excessive stretching of the shells under the pressure of the fluid accumulated in them;
  • the appearance of erectile dysfunction;
  • male infertility, which develops due to impaired spermatogenesis

With the penetration of filariae into the epididymis, orchiepididymitis develops in the stronger sex. This pathology can cause infertility. The disease occurs due to a strong proliferation of connective tissue, which impedes the movement of sperm. In the absence of proper treatment, a testicular infarction occurs, leading to the death of organ tissues.

Funiculitis in men


At an early stage of filariasis, a representative of the stronger sex may experience an inflammatory process in the region of the spermatic cord.

With funicular, the following symptoms often appear:

  • Painful sensations in the perineum;
  • An increase in body temperature to 39.5 ° C;
  • The appearance of a seal in the area of the spermatic cord;
  • General weakness;
  • Headache.

If the patient has funiculitis, drugs are prescribed, endowed with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, physiotherapy procedures are performed.

For the period of treatment, intimacy, alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs that provoke inflammation should be abandoned. In the absence of a pronounced effect from the use of conservative methods of treating funicular, a surgical operation is performed.

Signs of the disease arising in the second and third stages

In the second stage, the following symptoms of filariasis occur in an infected person:

  1. Inflammation of the lymph nodes. It occurs due to the penetration of parasites into the corresponding tissues. The diameter of the inflamed lymph nodes can be 10 cm. The patient often has symptoms such as weakness and vomiting;
  2. The appearance on the patient's body of elastic painless neoplasms or long-term healing ulcers due to the penetration of parasites under the skin;
  3. Deterioration of the functions of the organs of vision. Filariae can live under the eyelid or conjunctiva. The patient develops photophobia, clouding of the lens, the optic nerve atrophies, and increased lacrimation appears.


At the third stage of the pathology, the patient may develop "elephantiasis" (a rapid increase in the size of the arm or leg). The appearance of the skin also changes. It becomes wrinkled and thin. Pigment spots form on the skin.

In the late stage of the disease, lymph is present in the urine, coming from vessels damaged by parasites. As a result, the shade of the biological fluid changes. The urine can be white or red. Lymph may also be present in feces.

When penetrating the bronchopulmonary system, filariae can cause the following serious diseases:

  • Pneumonia;
  • Lung abscess.

The listed complications require immediate treatment.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment of filariasis involves taking appropriate medication. Patients are often prescribed "Albendazole". The specified drug has a wide spectrum of action. The medicine immobilizes parasites and interferes with metabolic processes in their body. "Albendazole" is capable of causing short-term death of worms.


In addition to this medication, Ivermectin is also prescribed. The medication disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses in the tissues of parasites. In rare cases, "Diethylcarbamazine citrate" is used. It contributes to the destruction of filarial mitochondria.

The dosage of medications is set on an individual basis. It is carefully calculated by a specialist depending on the severity of the disease.

In addition to antiparasitic agents, symptomatic treatment is also carried out, involving the use of hormonal and antihistamines. These medicines help neutralize toxins that are secreted by mature parasites and filarial larvae. Among such drugs, it is worth highlighting "Cetrin", "Prednisolone", "Loratadin".

With filariasis, surgical operations are also performed to remove parasites from the subcutaneous fat, eyes or muscles.

Important! After visiting an area with a tropical climate, you need to closely monitor your well-being. If you develop severe allergies or suspicious lesions on the skin, seek immediate medical attention.