Loa Loa (Eye worm)

By: Mackenzie Lancaster

Loa Loa (eye worm)

A threadlike worm, indigenous to the western part of equatorial Africa.

Where does it live?

Loa loa lives under the skin in the subcutaneous fat.

How does it feed?

It feeds on fluids in the tissues of humans.

Host:

Humans

Reproduction:

Females produce a phermomone to attract males. Then the male coils around a female with his curved area over the female genital pore. The gubernaculum, made of cuticle tissue, guides spicules which extend through the cloaca and anus. Males use spicules to hold the female during the intercourse.


Size:

adults are small, thin worms ranging in length from 20-70 mm long and 350-430 micrometers wide. Range length 20 to 70 mm .79 to 2.76 in

Additional facts:

Behavior:

Adult worms migrate throughout the subcutaneous tissues of their host at all times of the day. When they linger in one area long enough, a swelling in the shape of the worm can be seen on the skin. Microfilariae live the bloodstream during daylight hours when the host is most likely to be bitten by flies. At night, they retreat into the lungs. In their fly intermediate host, microfilariae live in the fat body, while the infective juveniles inhabit the mouthparts of the fly

Lifespan:

15+ years

Citations