Microfilariae in Humans (Online CE Course)

(based on 488 customer ratings)

Author: Julie Ann West, PhD (CPH [NBPHE]), MLS(ASCP)CM, SM(ASCP)CM
Reviewer: Christine Mayambala, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM

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This course describes the significance of medically important microfilariae. Epidemiology, transmission, clinical presentation, and diagnostic laboratory methods are discussed. Morphologic descriptions and ways to differentiate between five clinically significant microfilariae (including Wuchereria, Brugia, Onchocerca, Loa, and Mansonella), as well as an introduction to emerging zoonotic microfilariae are also considered in this module. This module is intended for medical technologists having basic blood parasitology and/or microbiology experience.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Approved through 11/30/2025
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology): 1 hour(s)
Approved through 11/30/2025

Objectives

  • Explain the significance of microfilarial infection in humans.
  • Discuss epidemiology and transmission.
  • Describe the clinical presentation.
  • List and describe useful diagnostic laboratory methods.
  • Differentiate between clinically significant microfilariae (including Wuchereria, Brugia, Loa, Onchocerca, and Mansonella), as well as discuss emerging zoonotic microfilariae.

Customer Ratings

(based on 488 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Significance of Microfilarial Infection in Humans
      • Filariasis: Background
      • Filariasis: History
      • The history of filariasis appears to go back in time to:
      • Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by cestodes.
  • Epidemiology and Transmission
      • Epidemiology: Disease Distribution and Populations at Risk
      • Transmission
      • Life Cycle
      • Lymphatic filariasis is defined as a neglected tropical disease. All of the following are characteristics of a neglected tropical disease, except:
      • In the transmission of the different filarial species affecting humans, vectors may include the following arthropods:
      • The human is known as the definitive host in the life cycle of the filarial parasite. Select the true statement:
  • Clinical Presentation
      • Clinical Presentation
      • A hydrocele is one of the four commonly encountered clinical presentations of lymphatic filariasis in humans. What is a hydrocele?
      • Less frequently, chyluria may be present in the clinical presentation of lymphatic filariasis in humans. What is chyluria?
  • Useful Diagnostic Methods
      • Direct Examination: Microscopy
      • Nucleic Acid Detection and Other Methods
      • Using the direct detection method (microscopy) for diagnosing active infection in the identification of microfilariae (using a peripheral blood smear)...
      • In the United States, specialized molecular, serologic, and rapid diagnostic tests are found in research and some public health laboratories. The FDA ...
  • Differentiating Clinically Significant Microfilariae
      • Microfilariae: Morphology Overview
      • Morphology: Size
      • Morphology: Nuclear Column
      • Morphology: Anterior - headspace
      • Morphology: Posterior - tail
      • Morphology: Sheath
      • Morphology: General Characteristics of the Microfilariae - Summary
      • Which statement regarding the length of microfilariae is true?
      • The anterior (or cephalic) headspace of microfilariae refers to the amount of space packed tightly with nuclei.
    • Wuchereria
      • Wuchereria bancrofti
      • Complete this sentence - Wuchereria bancrofti is:
    • Brugia
    • Loa
      • Loa loa
      • In Loiasis: What are Calabar swellings?
    • Onchocerca
      • Onchocerca volvulus
      • What is river blindness? Select the best answer choice.
    • Mansonella
      • Mansonella ozzardi
      • Mansonella streptocerca
      • Mansonella perstans
      • Regarding Mansonella species: Microfilariae are always found in the infected human's peripheral blood.
    • Emerging Zoonotic Microfilariae
      • Dirofilaria
      • Regarding the dog heartworm: Which of the following statements is true?
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Intended Audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, and technicians. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science students and pathology residents.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Course Description: This course describes the significance of medically important microfilariae. Epidemiology, transmission, clinical presentation, and diagnostic laboratory methods are discussed. Morphologic descriptions and ways to differentiate between five clinically significant microfilariae (including Wuchereria, Brugia, Onchocerca, Loa, and Mansonella), as well as an introduction to emerging zoonotic microfilariae are also considered in this module. This module is intended for medical technologists having basic blood parasitology and/or microbiology experience. 

Author: Dr. Julie Ann West is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) and as a Specialist in Microbiology (SM). In addition, Dr. West has earned a PhD in Public Health - Epidemiology Specialization (emphasis on infectious disease) - and is Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. West is experienced as a Technical Specialist, Safety Officer, Educator, and Lead in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and has prior experience as an Administrative Laboratory Director.

Reviewer:  Christine Mayambala, PhD, is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS). She has earned a PhD in Public Health - Epidemiology Specialization. Dr. Mayambala is experienced as a Generalist and Molecular Technologist. At present, Dr. Mayambala teaches pre-nursing and medical laboratory technology at a community college in Metro Atlanta.

 

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 182 CE courses, most popular
$109Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$55Add to cart
Individual course$25Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
Wuchereria bancrofti Giemsa stained smear. (27)


1140 Loa loa posterior end


1146 Mansonella perstans posterior end


907 Mansonella ozzardi Giemsa stain


Anatomy of microfilaria: N., Nerve ring (ant. break in cell column); A., ant. v-spot (excretory pore); Ex.C., excretory cell; C.G., granular mass (or Innenkorper); G. 1-4,


B timori Giemsa thick blood smear 500x oil magnification. (31)


Biting midge. (5)


Dirofilaria immitis head region. (46)