Filariasis, Malaria, Dengue Fever and Lyme Disease

Topics: Malaria, Aedes, Mosquito Pages: 10 (3372 words) Published: April 8, 2008
Insects-the most diverse group of animals on Earth, are the major group from arthropods class. Insects could be found in almost everywhere, in any conditions, and environments, which why we would classify insects as the most successful, and diverse organisms to dominate the earth’s population. However, these magnificent, simple yet sophisticated organisms are capable to produce massive casualties. The manner of how these diseases are introduced to human through insects will further be discussed in this paper. This paper will attempt a further analysis on the history, the distribution of the diseases worldwide, and the further impact noted caused by the diseases.

Vector could be defined as an organism that does not involve in causing disease itself, but responsible in conveying pathogens from each host to another which in this case; the insects. These diseases can be transmitted to human through various ways, and one of them: mosquito bites. Therefore, in this paper, I will further discuss on four major vector-borne diseases; Filariasis, Malaria, Dengue fever, and Lyme disease.

I will begin my discussion on Filariasis. Filariasis which also known as Lymphatic Filariasis, is spread from an infected human (the carrier of the disease), to other healthy human by mosquitoes. This disease caused by a type of parasitic adult worms called microfilaria (Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi) that lives and reproduce in human’s lymphatic vessels. The female worms will release large numbers of very small worm larvae, which circulate and infected human’s bloodstream. Thus, when a human is bitten by a mosquito, the mosquito would ingest the larvae, and it would continue developing in the mosquito into an infective stage, which later will be transmitted to other human via same methods; mosquito bites. And again, once a human is bitten, the larvae will passed through the human skin and travel all the way to the lymphatic vessels and it will develop its new cycle to grow into adult worms.

This disease is discovered in 1866, when Otto Wucherer demonstrated the presence of microfilaria, which consists of filarial larvae in urine, followed by Timothy Lewis in 1871. He discovered the presence of microfilaria in peripheral blood. Another discovery made by Joseph Bancroft in 1876, which he claim to discovered the adult form of the worms in the lymphatic vessels. And in 1878, Patrick Manson claim to observe the development of Wuchereria bancrofti in the mosquito. One of the key worms that responsible to initiate filariasis is named after these two prominent discoverers, Wucherer and Bancroft.

Filariasis is extremely rare in Western world, but it is an endemic in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and South America with over 120 million of people has been infected with it. The primary cause the disease to took place is more likely due to rapid growth of developing nation, which creates numerous breeding sites for mosquitoes, and other vectors and permit ‘them’ to transmit the disease. Over one-third of people who are diagnosed with disease, are living in India, which represents the largest pie of the disease distribution. Another one-third of the pie are in Africa, and the rest are in South Asia, especially South East Asia, Pacific, and South America. The Brugia malayi and the Brugia timori has affected more than 12 million people in South East Asia. As we could see, the species name Malayi and Timori indicates Malaysia and Indonesia as the most dominant breeding sites for these species.

Those who carry the disease would most likely displaying viable horrendous symptoms; such enlargement of the entire leg or arm, and in some cases it would affect the genital parts; which would also be referred as Elephantiasis, due to thickening of skin and underlying tissues. Notable symptoms could be observed between 5-18 months after mosquito bites. Tissue damage caused by the worms will restrict the normal flow of lymph fluids which may...
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