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Problems of tropical eosinophilia



Problems of tropical eosinophilia



Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 65: 260-261



Recent studies have thrown light on the problem of tropical eosinophilia. That microfilariae are responsible, has been amply supported by: (1) Filarial complement fixation test, with a fall in titre after treatment. (2) Therapeutic responses with the antifilarial agent diethylcarbamazine. (3) Demonstration of microfilariae in the tissues. (4) Production of identical lesions in the guinea-pig. All microfilariae are however antigenically the same and the complement fixation test is of no help in differentiating the different species. Do these microfilaria remain alive in the viscera, giving rise to pathological lesions or do they disintegrate giving rise to an allergic state? That these microfilaria have never been demonstrated in the blood, indicates that possibly their life cycle is not completed within the human host. Toxocara canis, the second offending helminth sufficiently proved so far, is found all over the world, but tropical eosinophilia does not correspond with its distribution. What then, in the tropics, acts in conjunction with T. canis to produce the disease? These are but few of the many baffling questions about the problem. Recent studies have contributed much towards our understanding, but we have a long way to go.

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Accession: 014152981

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PMID: 13956913


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