Medical detectives in western Uganda recently discovered that the wrong culprit had been blamed for an outbreak of crippling elephantiasis — legs so swollen that they resemble those of an elephant.
The researchers realized that they were facing something even rarer than worm disease: The victims had podoconiosis, a disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soils. Such soils contains tiny, sharp, alkaline mineral crystals that work their way under the skin, causing fierce itching, and then are attacked by white blood cells, triggering inflammation that can develop over time into weeping sores and fibrous tissue looking like Lymphatic Filariasis disease.
Mistaken diagnosis of illness could cost a life.
PanLF RAPID TEST from Reszon is a rapid immunochromatography assay for lymphatic filariasis infection which Detect specific IgG4 antibodies to Wuchereria brancrofti, Brugia malayi and/or Brugia timori.
Reference: Donald G. McNeil Jr. (10 April 2017) Volcanic Minerals, Not Worms, Caused Disease Outbreak in Uganda. Accessed on 19 November 2017.
Volcanic Minerals, Not Worms, Caused Disease Outbreak in Uganda Podoconiosis or Lymphatic Filariasis?
A home of a patient in Uganda who is suffering from podoconiosis, which mistaken for Lymphatic Filariasis.
Photo credit: Christine Kihembo