Doppler ultrasonography reveals adult-worm nests in the lymph vessels of children with brugian filariasis.

Shenoy, R.K.; Suma, T.K.; Kumaraswami, V.; Padma, S.; Rahmah, N.; Abhilash, G.; Ramesh, C.

Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology; 2007; 101; 173–180.

Although ultrasonography has allowed ‘nests' of live adult worms and dilated lymphatics to be detected in the early stages of infection with Wuchereria bancrofti , previous attempts to locate such adult-worm nests in brugian filariasis have been unsuccessful. In this study, the successful location of live adult Brugia malayi parasites, in the lymphatics of the axilla, thigh, epitrochlear region and/or popliteal fossa of children aged 3–15 years, is described for the first time. The ‘filarial dance sign' (FDS), which indicates the presence of live adult worms, was observed in six children with microfilaraemia and in eight children who, though amicrofilaraemic, either had experienced an episode of lymphoedema (one) or were only positive for antifilarial IgG 4 antibodies (seven). In bancroftian infection, the adult-worm nests have mostly been seen in asymptomatic but microfilaraemic subjects.

The suspected worm nests, 18 in the 14 children, were all confirmed using colour-power and pulse-wave Doppler examinations. The worm nests were distinctly smaller and the wriggling movements were less rapid and less conspicuous than those seen in bancroftian filariasis. The importance of these findings in the management and control of lymphatic filariasis is discussed.


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