Onchocerca infection is caused by onchocerca volvulus which is a nematode roundworm.
Onchocerca infection may lead to symptoms and signs such as loss of subcutaneous tissue elasticity, rashes, itching, large folds of skin and partial as well as total blindness mostly due to hypersensitivity reaction to onchocerca volvulus antigen.
Onchocerca infection is associated with river blindness condition. Blindness mostly occur due to development of the dermal nodules in the head. A destructive inflammatory responses of the eye may be elicited by the migrating larvae.
Onchocerca volvulus is detected from biopsy of the skin and direct eye inspection of the microfilariae of onchocerca volvulus.
The common vector of transmission is Simulium black fly. Onchocerca infection is common in central and south America and africa.
The larvae will enter the wound bite / the sites of inoculation. The larvae will migrate to the subcutaneous tissue and matured into adult into the fibrous nodule.
Microfilariae are produced which later spread through the skin and subcutaneous skin. The larvae may induce inflammatory reaction.
The treatment may include prophylactic ivermectin treatment which may reduce the load of microfilarial, surgical removal of the adult dermal nodule, suramin to kill the adult onchocerca volvulus and ivermectin.
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