Diagnosis and Treatment of Filariasis

dr. simi paknikar
Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD
Last Updated on Nov 05, 2019
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Diagnosis and Treatment of Filariasis

Filariasisis diagnosed by direct demonstration of the microfilariae in the nocturnal blood sample or skin specimen. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is the recommended medicine for treating filariasis.(6)

How do you Diagnose Filariasis?

The commonly used method to diagnose filariasis includes-

  • Direct demonstration of microfilariae in blood or skin specimens. The blood sample is usually collected at night as microfilariae have nocturnal periodicity.
  • Detection of antibodies by immunodiagnostic tests
  • Detection of circulating filarial antigen (CFA).
Blood Test Helps Detect Filariasis

How do you Treat Filariasis?

Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is the recommended medicine for treating filariasis. It kills microfilaria and does not have any effect on the adult worms. Thus, it only helps to control transmission of infection from one person to other. It may cause a reaction in some individuals. Ivermectin or albendazole may be useful in some patients.

Good hygiene of the affected part prevents the worsening of the lymphedema and secondary bacterial skin infections.

The affected limb should be kept elevated and regular exercises should be done to improve the lymph flow.

While medicines are available to treat filaria, the gross swelling of the leg makes a person look noticeable and ugly. Hence, it is better to protect from the bites of filaria mosquitoes. Use of aerosols; mosquito repellent creams, mats, coils; nets and prevention of breeding of mosquitoes with better practice of hygiene and sanitation can help prevent filariasis.(7)


  1. Filariasis - Wikipedia - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filariasis)
  2. Lymphatic Filariasis - (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/lymphatic-filariasis)
  3. Blood Lymphatic Disease - Filariasis - (https://www.nhp.gov.in/disease/blood-lymphatic/filariasis)
  4. Filariasis: Symptoms, Causes and Management - (https://www.aimu.us/2017/07/15/filariasis-symptoms-causes-and-management/)
  5. Filariasis - (https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/filariasis/)
  6. Filaria - (https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/filaria)
  7. Parasites - Lymphatic Filariasis - (https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lymphaticfilariasis/treatment.html)

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I have a swollen legs since I am 10 years old as it increasing gradually till now am 30 years. i under go filariasis midnight test when i was 11 and the results became negative. deciding to take another test at this moment and the result came positive. what is your advice for this? what is the best medicine I should take to recover?

i have problem in my scrotem it is getting swolen tightly and give me pain very much after taking antibiotics i get recover give me prescribed dr and suggest

My Mothers age is 58 years old. As per doctor's assumption she is suffering from fialria disease. Her one of leg is very heavy which is 3 times the other difficult . Not able to sit in floor also very difficult to walk. Before 4 months , she has suffered from kidney probelm , where dialysis has done 7 times . After that the legs are swollen. We want to know where the treatment and diagnosis is happening

Iam 55 yrs.old male. colostomy surgery done for rectum ca in 2005. Now suffering with filariasis. Scrotum swollen and somtimes discharge secretion. Hetrazan - 100 mg. tablets 3 tim es prescribed. Can I come for further treatment

i am 30 years old, I am not sure but i think i am suffering from filaria, because last 6 month my left hand and breast very tight and swelling so plz give me suggestion.

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