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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of parasitic nematodes. Filariids are long and filamentous or hairlike. Some, for example, the female of the tropical African species Onchocerca (Filaria) volvulus, may measure as much as 45 cm in length and as little as 0.33 mm in width. Adults live in the body cavity, subcutaneous tissue, lymph and blood vessels, and heart of vertebrates, including man. The presence of the larvae (microfilaria) in the host’s blood is a striking evidence of infestation.

Blood-sucking insects and, occasionally, ticks and mites are the intermediate hosts. They become infested with the larvae by sucking the blood of the primary host and, in turn, may infest other vertebrates, including man. There are more than 80 genera of Filariidae, comprising 380 species. Ten species parasitize man, causing filariases (seeBANCROFT’S FILARIA).


Pavlovskii, E. N. Rukovodstvo po parazitologii cheloveka, 5th ed., vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 422–29.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.