Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis)

Richard Knight

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis)

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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Guinea-worm disease (dracunculiasis)—now limited to sub-Saharan Africa—is caused by the nematode Dracunculus medinensis, whose life cycle involves water-borne copepod crustaceans and humans, who acquire the infection when they drink water containing infective larvae. Clinical presentation is usually with a skin blister, most often on the leg, sometimes preceded by allergic prodromal symptoms. Bacterial infection is a common complication. Most patients in endemic areas recognize their condition, but irrigation of ulcers can reveal larvae. Treatment is by physical removal of the worm; anthelmintics have no role in management. Provision of safe water for drinking is the key to prevention....

Chapter.  1928 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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