Health FAQs

Loa loa Prevention and Mode of transmission

Loiasis is the infestation of the conjunctiva and eyelids with a parasite worm loa. It is a topical condition. While learning about Loa loa Prevention and Mode of transmission you should know that all ages and genders affected although generally, the incidence of clinical disease is lower in young children probably due to the long prevalent period of the filarial worm.



Loiasis is an infection caused by the filarial worm, loa loa. It is found in the rainforest belt of tropical Africa, stretching from areas around the Gulf of Guinea in the west to Sudan and Uganda in the east.

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Mode of transmission of Loiasis

However, it’s the transmission is by the bite of various species of flies (the red mangrove flies) that breed on slow-moving, muddy streams that usually flow through densely shaded forests in west Africa. The adult flies live in the canopy of high rain forest trees from where the females descend to the ground level to lay their eggs or bites a man.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms usually do not appear until several after infection, through microfilaria. it appears in the peripheral blood of about 5-6 months after infection.

  • Recurrent swelling of the subcutaneous tissue
  • The occasional appearance of adult loa beneath the skin or conjunctiva
  • Swelling is a puffy, uncomfortable but non-tender swelling affecting the face especially the peri-orbital region, the hand, the forearm or any other part of the body


Diagnosis of Loiasisis by identification of microfilaria in the peripheral blood or the adult worm on the tissue. The microfilaria of loa loa has a diurnal periodicity and the blood id best taken during the day by microscopy.

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Loa loa Prevention and control measures

  • The cleaning of the shady vegetation at the breeding sites and with the residual insecticides to control the vector.
  • Bites of chrysop should be avoided by screening the house and wearing protective clothing e.g long sleeve shirts and (trousers) and the use of fly repellants.
  • Treatment of infected persons with diethylcarbamazine may kill the adult worm and the microfilaria. Hypersensitivity reactions may occur during treatment and be controlled by steroids and antihistamine.


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