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close this bookFact sheet No 102: Lymphatic Filariasis - Rev. September 2000 (WHO, 2000, 3 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCause
View the documentTransmission
View the documentSigns and Symptoms
View the documentDiagnosis
View the documentTreatment
View the documentWHO's Strategy to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis
View the documentEconomic and Social Impact

Cause

The thread-like, parasitic filarial worms Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi that cause lymphatic filariasis live almost exclusively in humans. These worms lodge in the lymphatic system, the network of nodes and vessels that maintain the delicate fluid balance between the tissues and blood and are an essential component for the body's immune defence system. They live for 4-6 years, producing millions of immature microfilariae (minute larvae) that circulate in the blood.