Lymphatic Filariasis is a painful and disfiguring disease, more commonly known as elephantiasis. Caused by three species of filarial (thread-like) worm in humans, this parasitic infection can result in an altered lymphatic system and abnormal enlargement of body parts. This disease has devastating social and economic consequences due to its visibility and disabling manifestations. LF is one of the world’s neglected tropical diseases.
Transmission of LF can be reduced by controlling the vector, Culex, Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes. Through methods such as long lasting insecticidal nets or indoor residual spraying, people are protected from infection. To stop the spread of infection, large scale distribution of the drugs albendazole combined ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine citrate can clear microfilariae from the bloodstream, preventing the spread of parasites to mosquitoes.
Epidemics of LF usually occur in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Over 120 million people are infected and more than 1.3 billion people are at risk of Lymphatic Filariasis.