What is the definition of Acanthocheilonemiasis?

Acanthocheilonemiasis is a rare tropical filarial (nematode, or worms) parasitic infectious disease caused by Acanthocheilonema perstans. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of small flies (A. coliroides) mainly found in Africa.

What are the symptoms for Acanthocheilonemiasis?

Individuals infected with acanthocheilonemiasis may initially have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, these may include red, itchy skin (pruritis), swelling under the skin (edema), muscle pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, enlarged liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleuritis), and inflammation of the membranes around the heart (pericarditis). In some individuals with acanthocheilonemiasis, large adult worms may be present in the abdomen, lungs, or heart, causing inflammation. A common finding in individuals infected with acanthocheilonemiasis is abnormally high granular white blood cells (eosinophilia).

What are the current treatments for Acanthocheilonemiasis?

While mild acanthocheilonemiasis infection usually does not require treatment, the treatment for a symptomatic acanthocheilonemiasis infection is anti-filarial drugs, such as ivermectin or diethyl-carbamazine. Some patients may require surgery to remove large adult worms.

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