09 Nov 2011

Sample Essay: Genetic Disease: Elephantiasis

Elephantiasis is noted to have been researched to come from particular condition caused by parasitic worms. Often following the infection comes the thickening of the skin and the tissues found usually in the legs and private genitals. The inflammation of the body parts are considered to be caused by extensive infection that continues to affect the areas that have already been under attack by the parasitic worms. The parasitic worms usually come from being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most often than not, the parasites include round worms and nematodes. These worms often inhabit the lymphatic vessels that makes it impossible for the inability of the said body part to function well which makes it impossible to drain the extremities that have been affected by the infection. There are two particular types of elephantiasis:

(a) Lymphatic filariasis [which is characterized by the infection of the lymphatic area] and

(b) nonfilariar elephantiasis [which is noted to be common among members of the African society due to their regular contact with the volcano ash. As of now, the main target of this ailment is the African society and the Southeast Asian residents. These particular facts impose on the idea that both the genetic sources of the ailment and the incurring course of effect that the red soil has on African individuals who are in direct contact of the said substance.


Most often than not, elephantiasis affects the lower extremities of the body, other infections occur in the upper extremities but this is less likely to happen. It usually depends on what particular worm entered the body. The symptoms often start with skin rashes and abdominal pain due to the occurrence of worms deeply dwelling within the tissues. Usually, enlargement of the genital areas specifically mark the onset of elephantiasis. The occurrence of fever and chills and the mere feeling of being unwell due to the inner inflammation of the parts of the body that are infected. (Price, 1974)


The inflammation is adapted to have been explained by the occurrence of the infection and the actual fight that the immune system is putting up against the infection. However, due to the deep effect of the worm’s impact on the areas affected, the inflammation may affect other areas of the body therefore spreading the impact of the medical situation. The weakness of the immune system further creates a chance for the infection to move further. The death of the issues further makes it hard to work especially on the part of the function of of the lymphatic node. The blockage caused by the infection causes the release of the infectious substance to be released out of the system. With this occurrence, obstruction of the flow of blood supply also happens making the affected area slowly die of function.

On the other end, when it comes to the occurrence of the African elephantiasis, it is assumed that such matter is caused by the red soil coming from the volcano  which the African society usually gets in contact with as they walk barefoot along the said type of soil. The particles of the soil gets lodged in the lymphatic tissues therefor irritating the entire system. With this streptococcal infection could also be sourced out from.

Another cause of elephantiasis is the genetic disorder which is more known as the hereditary lymphedema. The symptoms of this particular ailment comes the same as that of the regular elephantiasis. The underdevelopment of the lymph vessels often create the blockage opening the doors to the occurrence of inflammation within the said vessels.


As of now, only the course of identifying the development of research on elephantiasis is considered to be the source of an ideal form of prevention. Increasing knowledge about this ailment hence equipping the people with the idea on when to be checked for early diagnosis is exposed as the most effective source of prevention. Other than this, no vaccinations have been developed yet which means that it is only the occurrence of careful consideration upon one’s health that could protect one from incurring the ailment.

Ones the ailment has already been developed, it is strongly advised that constant cleaning and of the area infected be imposed so as to prevent the distribution of the infection to other parts of the body. Like other ailments, it is also considered that early diagnosis of the disease could be the course taken into consideration hence lessening the health dilemma that   shall affect the individual already suffering from the ailment. Preventing the infection from spreading is the primary course of defense that doctors suggest so as not to further deepen the effect of the said ailment on the individual.

Treatments and Therapies

During the onset of the ailment, it is best that early diagnosis be served. At the first stage of the infection, antibiotics could be prescribed by the doctors. The most common form of antibiotic suggested by doctors is doxycycline. This further kills the bactria that lives within the worms which means that the treatment affects the operational function of the foreign substances from the roots of the problem. This then slows down the growth of the worms likely weakening the capability of the worms to reproduce. Another possible prescription could include albendazole which is a combination of diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin. This medication is directed towards killing the spreading young worms that are expected to be released by the old worms which are likely the ones spreading in the affected area. These medications however cannot kill the full grown worms hence making it hard for completely stopping the disease from spreading.

In more serious cases, standard therapies could include chemo therapy which are designed to attack the adult worms hence serving as a symptomatic treatment that could repair the damage that the infection has already caused in the decay of the different parts of the body. Revitalizing the immune system through killing the foreign elements in the system could further increase the capability of the body to fight the effects of the impending infection from the worms. Along with the therapy comes the implication of applying medication that supports the process.

During the current years of further researching on the development of therapies that could provide more effective support for the need of the suffering patients to recover from the matter, it has been realized that a particular consideration on massage therapy could alleviate certain developmental progression of the infection. Strengthening the muscles of the infected area apparently also improves the process of protection that the lymphatic vessels establish against the impending effects of the worms in the system (Desta, et al, 2003).

Conclusive Implications of Research

The manner by which elephantiasis develops is specifically dependent on how one considers good hygiene. Prevention as always is better than cure and the same thing applies with the case of elephantiasis. Avoiding genetically passing on the medical case starts from the need of parents to be specifically concerned about how they deal with their hygiene. No matter what sort of elephantiasis is being avoided, it is important to consider proper hygiene and if in case the ailment’s symptoms have already been identified, early diagnosis and treatment could help in reducing the course of dilemma that the ailment puts the sufferer in.


Desta K, Ashine M, Davey G (2003). “Prevalence of podoconiosis (endemic non-filarial elephantiasis) in Wolaitta, Southern Ethiopia”.Trop Doct 2: 217–220.

Price EW (1974). “The relationship between endemic elephantiasis of the lower legs and the local soils and climate. A study in Wollamo District, Southern Ethiopia“.Trop Geogr Med 32:26–230.

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03 Jul 2009

Sample Essay: New Developments on AIDS


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a deadly disease. HIV is a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Aids is a disease in which the immune system of a human being begins to slow down and eventually fail which leads to life threatening infections. AIDS has taken more lives then any other disease known to the mankind. It is estimated that a 0.6% population of this world is infected with HIV (AIDS), most of which are from Sub-Saharan Africa. [Joint UN program on HIV/AIDS: (2006)]. There are four major reasons behind the transfer of HIV in to human beings. These factors are; Unprotected Intercourse, Contaminated needles, transmission to a child by mother by birth, and through Breast milk. According to (UNAIDS) and (WHO) AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was recognized first in year 1981.

There has been improvement in the treatment method of HIV/AIDS over the years. People who suffered from AIDS before were able to survive for a shorter time, as compared to the people who are infected with this disease today. More improvement is being made everyday for curing this deadly disease. HIV affects the cells in the human immune system, making them weaker and vulnerable to a lot of diseases. HIV attacks the cells such as T cells, or more specifically CD4 cells. When the quantity of these cells reduces to a certain level, human develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and die, however 1 out of every 10 individuals do live their life for quite a few years, without any visible symptoms of AIDS. Treatment with anti-retroviral, where available, increases the life expectancy of people infected with HIV. HIV can be classified into two types namely HIV-1 and HIV-2. Research over the years has proven that HIV-1 is the major reason for most deaths as it is easily transmitted into human beings. HIV-1 is considered to be originated from Cameroon and transferred to human beings from chimpanzees. HIV-2 is a form of virus which is largely confined to Western African nations, HIV-2 may have originated from the Sooty Mangabey, an Old World monkey of Guinea-Bissau, Gabon, and Cameroon. There are many anti-viruses that help prevent the effects of HIV for a certain period of time. One of the major reasons obstacles for the design of HIV-1 vaccine is the diversity of viral. A single antigen cell is not sufficient enough to raise the functionality of T cells and B cells. [Frontiers In Bioscience: A Journal And Virtual Library [Front Biosci] 2008; Vol. 13, pp. 609-20. Date of Electronic Publication]. SJCRH multi-vectored, multi-envelope vaccine has now been shown to elicit HIV-1-specific B- and T-cell functions with a diversity and durability that may be required to prevent HIV-1 infections in humans. An HIV enters macrophages and CD4+ T cells by the adsorption of glycoproteins on its surface to receptors on the target cell followed by fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane and the release of the HIV cap Sid into the cell. [HIV-1 vaccine development: tackling virus diversity with a multi-envelope cocktail]. There is however, constant work done by the most talented people in this world, to find a solution to somehow, over come the disease properly. There is no vaccine and medicine in this world which can cure the disease completely. The only method of prevention is to avoid exposure from the virus itself. There are some methods which have reduced the effect of virus to a certain extent, but still unsuccessful in eliminating it. One of such treatments is post-exposure prophylaxis. This anti-viral treatment which is believed to reduce the risk of infection is effective when done within short period of infection. HAART (Highly active anti-retroviral therapy is also very useful in prevention of HIV virus to a certain extent. HAART is a combination of three different kinds of anti-retroviral agents, which are more useful in reviving the T cells and the B cells as well. [An anti-apoptotic protein, Hax-1, inhibits the HIV-1 rev function by altering its sub-cellular localization]

We know that HIV/AIDS has no cure at the current moment, there fore the best strategy against this disease to remain safe, and try to prevent this disease as much as possible. This disease is very harmful to a human body and there are no chances or survival, not until today. There is constant research going on in current world about this disease and a lot of developments have been done for the treatment of this disease. HAART allows the stabilization of the patient’s symptoms and viremia, but it neither cures the patient, nor alleviates the symptoms, and high levels of HIV-1, often HAART resistant, return once treatment is stopped. It is quite evident that prevention is the only cure of this disease at the moment; therefore we should always care in our daily life relationships and adopt prevention as much as possible.

HIV-1 vaccine development: tackling virus diversity with a multi-envelope cocktail.
Hurwitz JL; Zhan X; Brown SA; Bonsignori M; Stambas J; Lockey TD; Sealy R; Surman S; Freiden P; Jones B; Martin L; Blanchard J; Slobod KS | Frontiers In Bioscience: A Journal And Virtual Library | 2008 | 13: | 609 | ISSN: 1093-4715

An anti-apoptotic protein, Hax-1, inhibits the HIV-1 rev function by altering its sub-cellular localization .Modem S; Reddy TR | Journal Of Cellular Physiology | 2008-01 | 214:1 | 14 | ISSN: 0021-9541

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