Taxonomy: The Loa Worm

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The taxonomy of the loa loa starts at the domain “eukaryota,” then the kingdom “animalia,” then the phylum “nematoda,” then the class “chromadorea,” then the order “spirurida,” then the family “onchocercidae,” then the genus “Loa,” and finishes at the species “loa.”
2.) The common name for the Loa Loa worm is the “African eye worm.”
3.) The loa loa worm typically looks like this thin, long, and white worm. The defining characteristics are the thinness and length of their bodies. They are so thin, some infected people can see them fit under the top layers of their skin and eyes. The main difference between the males and females are that the males are normally smaller than the females (about 30-34 mm in length and .35-.43 mm in diameter). The
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6.) The loa loa causes the disease loiasis.
7.) This disease is predominantly found in Africa.
8.) Symptoms for this disease are not common for most people. People who are infected may experience swelling near joints, on legs, and on arms. Along with the swelling, itching either near the swollen spots or all over the body can potentially happen too. However, itching all over the body can happen by itself too; it can occur without swelling. Other external symptoms include tiredness, joint and muscle pain, and hives. People can also experience an internal symptom of eye worm, a visible movement of the worm moving in the eye. Light sensitivity, itching, pain, and eye congestion can all happen with the eye worm.
9.) The main hosts of the loa loa and loiasis are deer flies. These flies are also referred to as mango flies or mangrove flies and they can breed the disease/worm. The other main hosts for the loa loa are
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The loa loa will develop in the fly's abdomen and then move to the mouth parts of the fly. Then, when the fly bites a human, the skin is broken and the loa loa enters through there.
12.) Surgeries can be done to remove the worms from the skin and eyes, but that will not treat it. The best way to treat the disease and to get rid of the worms is through medications. Diethylcarbamazine is the main medication; it kills the adult worms and the babies (microfilariae). If a person has taken multiple treatments of the first medication but the disease still remains, then they take Albendazole which kills adult worms. These medications can be detrimental to people with heavy infections and then a specialist is required for treatment.
13.) Other interesting facts about the loa loa are an adult loa loa worm can live up to 17 years in the human body, microfilariae are produced in thousands per day by female worms, the microfilariae can live up to a year in the human body if it is not taken out by a fly, and the microfilariae spend most of their time in the lungs but around midday they travel into the

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