A genus of thread-like parasitic worms prevalent mainly in tropical regions. The adult worms live in the mesentery, connective tissue, and lymphatic vessels, where their obstructive and inflammatory effects cause swelling called elephantiasis. The larval worms are transmitted by mosquitoes, in which early developmental stages are completed before the almost adult worms infect new hosts when infected mosquitoes partake of a blood meal. The life cycle was worked out by the British physician and naturalist Patrick Manson (1844–1922) and was a model for the elucidation of other mosquito-borne infections, notably malaria.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.