How does elephantiasis affect lymphatic system?

1 Answer
Jul 1, 2016

Elephantiasis is caused by worms of phylum Nematoda. These parasites block the lymphatic flow.


Wuchereria bancrofti (also called filarial worm) is a mosquito borne parasitic helminth. There are few different species in tropical asia, which use human as definitive host. The larvae are delivered in human blood circulation by mosquitoes, which eventually settle in lymphatic system.

Mechanical blockage of lymph flow occurs and lymph tends to accumulate in the area where worms are settled. Accumulation of fluid is called oedema. This also leads to swelling of the affected area causing permanent and gross disfigurement. Skin of the affected area thickens, and appear granular.

Most victims suffer social stigma.