History of Filariasis

There is no credible information written about filariasis before the 16th century. This information simply cannot be proven. Researchers have learned that this disease has strong ties to the Nile region. However, ancient artifacts indicate that the disease could have been around since 2000BC in Egypt. West African artifacts showed signs of scrotal enlargement which is a characteristic of filariasis. In the town of Nok, artifacts are dated later than in Egypt, around 500AD.

History of Symptoms 1588-1592

Between 1588 and 1592, Jan Huygen Linschoten wrote about this infectious disease and he stated ?all born with one of their legs and one foot from the knee downwards as thick as an elephant?s leg.? He describes what is known as the first documented symptoms of lymphatic filariasis. Other symptoms are fever, skin lesions, headaches, and chills.

History of Clinical Studies 1863-1866

Three researchers?s conducted clinical studies to learn more about filariasis from 1863 to 1866. Jean-Nicolas Demarquay observed microfilariae being taken from a hydrocoele in 1863. This is a common symptom of lymphatic filariasis. Timothy Lewis wrote about the occurrence of filariasis in the urine and blood three years later. Otto Henry Wurcherer also found filariasis in the urine while conducting studies in Brazil.

History of Other Works 1876-1900

In 1876, the worm was researched by Joseph Bancroft. Filariasis is a disease that is normally found in tropical regions. There are two species of worms that may cause this disease. The Brugia malayi and the Wuchereria Bancroft are commonly associated with filariasis. In 1876, Patrick Mansion found the disease in mosquitoes. It was not until 1900 that George Carmichael Low discovered that the disease is transported by mosquito bites.

Current Research

There is not much information known about this infectious disease. With advancements in new technology, medical professionals are becoming more knowledgeable about filariasis. Doctors are finding better ways to treat patients as new medicines are introduced to health care providers. Clearly, there is a lot more research work to be done on filariasis. One of the biggest challenges in the future is finding the funding and capital that is needed to fight this disease.