ACANTHOCHEILONEMIASIS & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Acanthocheilonemiasis"?
Acanthocheilonemiasis is an uncommon tropical infectious illness which is caused by Acanthocheilonema perstans, a parasite. This parasite causes rashes of the skin, chest & abdominal pains, joint & muscle pains, lumps on the skin & also neurologic defects. This disease is often transmitted when small flies bite the victim & the bite has the parasite with it. The scientific name of the fly that transmits the 'infectious bite' is A.Coliroides. Studies manifest that the white blood cell levels at elevated when the parasite is present in the human body. Acanthocheilonemiasis belongs to the parasitic diseases group which is called nematode or filarial diseases. This disease is often found in Africa only because the parasite is found abundantly on this region. Uganda, specifically, has had a lot of reported cases. A handful of patients were found in South America. Other names for this disease are Acanthocheilonemiasis perstans, Dipetalonema perstans, Mansonella perstans & Dipetalonemiasis.
Symptoms & Signs
Infectious symptoms include itchy, red skin (pruritis), pains on the chest & the abdomen, muscular pains (also known as myalgia) & some areas of contained swelling (or edema). Also, the spleen & the liver may become enlarged at an abnormal state (also called hepatosplenomegaly). Tests in laboratories may reveal abnormal elevations of the levels of some particular white blood cells (also termed eosinophilia). Another symptom is the occurrence of cold legs or having a cold sensation or feeling on one's legs.
Treatment: How to Treat "Acanthocheilonemiasis"?
Doxycycline could be used to treat Acanthocheilonemiasis even if the patient does not show Lymphatic Filariasis. It has been proven that this drug greatly reduces the number of worms of Mansonella perstans that can be found in the patient's blood. 50% of the subjects that were first experimented on showed positive response. There are also alternative ways of treating the illness.
This infectious disease is classified as a rare condition by the Office of Rare Diseases (affecting no more than 200,000 of the population in the United States).
This disease is spread by the infested patients to healthy individuals to midges which take in microfilariae with their victim's blood. The larvae become infestive in about seven to ten days. They then travel to the insect's proboscis. The final stage is when they emerge & penetrate the human skin.
Prognosis of the patient's survival is favorable. Proper treatment will, more often than not, totally heal the patient of the illness.