Welcome to my web (para)site! This site was created for a class on parasites and pestilence at Stanford University for the purpose of disseminating information on the parasite Loa loa and the disease it causes, Loiasis.

This ParaSite contains information on history, transmission, vector, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and clinical presentation of this parasite and disease, and also has some information regarding public health interventions. If you find any incorrect information, would like to add important missing information, or have any questions, please contact me using the links at the bottom of this page. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the site!

The Parasite

Loa loa, otherwise known as the African eye worm, is an interesting and painful, but not usually deadly parasite endemic to certain areas of Africa. It causes the disease Loiasis, and is transmitted by the bite of infected tabanids. It's a blood and tissue-dwelling nematode, and it has no animal reservoir. It is a filarial disease, characterized by long, threadlike nematodes, the adults of which are parasites of vertebrate hosts. These parasites are also characterized by highly modified eggs, microfilariae, that are elongated and wormlike in appearance. Loa loa is not considered to be as serious as the other filarial diseases in its pathogenesis or impact on the host, and is not usually fatal with the exception of risk of side effects with some medications.

Its taxonomy is as follows:


This particular parasite has a wide variety of historical and local synonyms, far too many to list here. One was mentioned above (African eye worm), and some others are as follows: Dracunculus loa, Filaria lacrymalis, F. loa, F. oculi humani, F. subconjunctivalis, Microfilaria diurna. There are also many synonyms in areas endemic to the disease.

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