Mansonelliasis B74.4

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Infectious disease caused by nematodes of the genus Mansonella

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Mansonella species (nematodes of the Filariida family, in particular M. ozzardi, M. perstans, M. streptocerca). Transmission of larvae (microfilariae) by various, usually very small, blood-sucking mosquito species (= so-called biting midges). Settlement in the lymph vessels and lymph nodes, where they mature and mate. Developing microfilaria circulate in the blood and are taken up by mosquitoes during the sucking act. Most filariae harbor bacterial endosymbionts of the genus Wolbachia (related to Rickettsia). These are important for the immunology of the filariae themselves and for their embryogenesis, but also induce disease symptoms in the macro host (see filariasis below).

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Africa and South America. Prevalence in endemic areas 10-50%.

Clinical features
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Often asymptomatic. Allergic reactions with pruritus, maculo-papular exanthema, urticaria, subcutaneous oedema, swelling of lymph nodes. Pain in the limbs, paraesthesia and fever possible.

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Detection of microfilariae in peripheral blood, occasionally in skin biopsies in suspected onchocerciasis.

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Usually none, possibly with clinical symptoms internal treatment with doxycycline and ivermectin.

General therapy
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Safety nets with very small mesh size, avoidance of mosquito breeding sites especially along forested river courses, mosquito protection especially in the evening and at night.

Internal therapy
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  • 1st choice therapy: Doxycycline 100 mg/day for 6 weeks. Combination with two single doses of ivermectin (e.g. Mectizan; only available from the international pharmacy) 1 time 400 μg/kg KG p.o. at the beginning and in the month 5 or 6 after the first application (blood count and transaminase control required!)
  • Alternatively: Albendazole (e.g. Eskazole) 2 times/day 400 mg p.o. for 10-14 days.

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  1. Galvez Tan JZ (2003) The Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis: A Strategy for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development - Perspectives from the Philippines. Filaria J 2: 12
  2. Grobusch MP et al (2003) No evidence of Wolbachia endosymbiosis with Loa loa and Mansonella perstans. Parasitol Res 90: 405-408
  3. Hoerauf A et al (2001) Depletion of wolbachia enterobacteria in onchocerca vólvulus by doxcycline and microfilaridermia after ivermectin therapy. Lancet 357: 1415-1416
  4. Wanji S et al (2003) Epidemiology of concomitant infections due to Loa loa, Mansonella perstans, and Onchocerca volvulus in rain forest villages of Cameroon. Med Microbiol Immunol (Berl) 192: 15-21

Incoming links (1)

Worm infections skin signs;

Outgoing links (2)

Filariasis; Onchocerciasis;


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020