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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

Diagnosis

Until very recently, diagnosing lymphatic filariasis had been extremely difficult, since parasites had to be detected microscopically in the blood, and in most parts of the world, the parasites have a "nocturnal periodicity" that restricts their appearance in the blood to only the hours around midnight. The new development of a very sensitive, very specific simple "card test" to detect circulating parasite antigens without the need for laboratory facilities and using only finger-prick blood droplets taken anytime of the day has completely transformed the approach to diagnosis. With this and other new diagnostic tools, it will now be possible both to improve our understanding of where the infection actually occurs and to monitor more easily the effectiveness of treatment and control programmes.