R. UMESH CHANDRAN, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY R. UMESH CHANDRAN, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lymphatic filariasis. The legs of a woman with severe lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). This condition is caused by infection of the lymphatics with parasitic worms of the species Brugia malayi, Brugia timori, or Wuchereria bancrofti. The worm larvae are spread by blood-sucking insects. The worms cause inflammation of the lymph vessels, resulting in localised oedema (swelling). After repeated infection the affected area - commonly a limb or the scrotum - becomes greatly enlarged & the skin becomes thick & fissured. This condition is called elephantiasis. Drugs may cure early infection only. The left leg is ulcerated.
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