Development and replication of B. malayi occurs in two discrete phases: in the mosquito vector and in the human. Both stages are essential to the life cycle of the parasite.
Mosquito: The mosquito serves as a biological vector and intermediate host – it is required for the developmental cycle and transmission of B. malayi.
4. The mosquito takes a human blood meal and ingests microfilariae (worm-like sheathed eggs) that circulate in the human blood stream.
5-7 In the mosquito, the microfilariae shed sheaths, penetrate the midgut, and migrate to the thoracic muscles were the microfilariae increase in size, molt, and develop into infective larvae (L1 and L3) over a span of 7–21 days. No multiplication or sexual reproduction of microfilariae occurs in the mosquito.
8-1 The infective larvae (L3) migrate to the salivary glands, enter the proboscis and escape onto human skin when the mosquito takes another blood meal.
Human: B. malayi undergoes further development in the human as well as sexual reproduction and egg production.
1-2 The infective larvae (L3) actively penetrate the skin through the bite hole and develop into adults in the lymphatic system over a span of 6 months. Adult worms can survive in the lymphatic system for 5–15 years
3. The male and female adult worms mate and the females produce an average of 10,000 sheathed eggs (microfilaria) daily The microfilariae enter the blood stream and exhibit the classic nocturnal periodicity and subperiodicity.
4. Another mosquito takes a blood meal and ingests the microfilariae. Infection depends on the mosquito taking a blood meal during a periodic episode – when microfilariae are present in the bloodstream.
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