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filariasis - elephantiasis HELP!

William Reeder "wmr-60 at xi.netcom.com" at ix.netcom.com
Sat Nov 2 03:21:20 EST 1996

Mr P Vagenas wrote:
> Hi everybody!
> Could someone tell me what is the difference between
> filariasis and elephantiasis? Is elephantiasis just a long
> term symptom of filariasis?
> Thanks a lot! :)
> Panos Vagenas
> (p.vagenas at ic.ac.uk)Elephantiasis can be due to filarial infection or it can occur without 
filarial infection.  Non filarial elephantiasis is common in East Africa. 
 It is a disease of the rural community and occurs when microparticles of 
silica and aluminosilicates enter the lymphatics of the lower limbs.  
This occurs when the tiny crystals are pounded into the skin through 
years of walking barefoot.  Besides Africa it occurs in Northwestern  
India (and possibly Sri Lanka), parts of Indonesia, Central America and 
on some Pacific Islands.  The onset occurs most often in persons between 
10 and 19 years of age.  A burning sensation following a long walk often 
is the first symptom.  The lower legs become progessively involved over a 
period of years.  Usually the lower leg only is involved.  The 
elephantitis that occurs is a permanent condition.  The term podoconiosis 
is sometimes used to describe non-filarial elephantitis.

	Price, E. W.  The pathology of non-filarial elephantitis of the 
lower legs.  Trans R Soc trop Med Hyg.  1972.  66(1):150-159

	Cook. G. C.  Podoconiosis (non filarial elephantitis): a 
rediscovered disease.  trop dis bul.  1991. 88(3):R1-R3

I hope this information is of help.  Bill Reeder

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