Eye Deceases

Loiasis (B74.3+)

About Loiasis

Loiasis is a tropical African disease which is caused by infestation with eye worms. Loiasis can cause transient subcutaneous swellings and it is often come with pain or fever. Loa loa filariasis is also known as loiasis. Loiasis is also known Calabar swellings, Fugitive swelling and Tropical swelling and this is caused by the nematode worm, loa loa which is an African eyeworm. Human contraction is made through the bite of a Deer fly or Mango fly and for which loiasis develops in human affecting major eye problem especially in vision.

The adult Loa loa filarial worm is very powerful and it can migrate throughout the subcutaneous tissues of humans causing maximum blow to human body. It can cross into other tissues where it can be easily observed. However, Loa loa is not considered normally for affecting the vision of human beings but it can be turned much painful when moving about the eyeball or across the bridge of the nose and therefore it is very harmful for eyes. A Calabar swelling is named when the worm causes red itchy swellings below the skin of the eye.

Loiasis has many sysnonyms like - , Loaiasis, Loaina, Loa loa filariasis, Filaria loa, Filaria lacrimalis, Filaria subconjunctivalis, Calabar swellings, Fugitive swellings, Loaina, and Microfilaria diurnal which are used to speak instead of its original name ‘loiasis’.

ICD-10 B74.3
ICD-9 125.2
DiseasesDB 7576
eMedicine derm/888 med/794
MeSH D008118

Symptoms of Loiasis

Symptoms of loiasis are unable to find out normally as most of the infected humans do not get any symptoms. The very important fact of these worms is, it generally migrates within the subcutaneous tissue which is just under the skin and stroll to the conjunctiva of eye. The result of this migration causes red and itchy swellings under the skin. The occurrence time of the swelling continues for 1 – 3 days. At that time, the passage over the eyeball can be sensed. However, the most important symptom is found as the movement of the eyeball becomes painful. The best way of getting alert for the disease is to check the eye movement if you feel much while moving your eyes, you need to assist doctor’s advice.

Treatment of Loiasis

The main treatment of loiasis is the drug diethylcarbamazine. However, surgical methods can be also applied for necessary reasons to remove adult worms from the body. Chemotherapy is also involved in most of the cases for the treatment of loiasis. In some cases, it is not good to take the drug diethylcarbamazine because it may develop allergic problem to the patients. The practical diagnostic procedure is only to identify larvae by microscopic examination and if it is done properly then medication can be started. However, surgical method of removing adult worms from the body is also advisable as the surgery does not take much time.

Causes of Loiasis

The main cause of loiasis in human being is the bite of deer fly or mango fly for which the worms of loiasis transmitted to humans. The worms will do blood-sucking during the day and out of all worms which are male and female they meet each other inside the human body and produce more microfilaria. These day-biting vectors are very fearsome as you are in unprotected mood then these vectors harm you.

Loiasis Types

There are two types of most common and very fatal loiasis present nowadays which are Encephalitis and Cerebral oedema. Encephalitis can harm the brain or spinal cord and Cerebral oedema is very deadly and therefore it has to be treated as early as possible.


  • Cameroon
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Central African Republic
  • Nigeria
  • Gabon
  • Equatorial Guinea