- Common name for nematodes of the family Onchocercidae, which live as adults in the blood, tissue fluids, tissues, or body cavities of many vertebrates. The females lay partially embryonated eggs, the embryos uncoil and circulate in blood or tissue fluids as microfilariae; if ingested by an appropriate bloodsucking arthropod, larval stages develop; later, infective larvae may be deposited on another vertebrate host's skin when the arthropod seeks another blood meal. [L. filum, a thread]
* * *fi·lar·ia fə-'lar-ē-ə, -'ler- n1) pl fi·lar·i·ae -ē-.ē, -.ī any of numerous slender filamentous nematodes that as adults are parasites in the blood or tissues of birds or mammals and as larvae usu. develop in biting insects (as fleas or mosquitoes) that belong to the superfamily Filarioidea, and that for the most part were once included in the genus Filaria but are now divided among various genera (as Wuchereria and Onchocerca)2) cap in former classifications a genus of nematodes that included most of the filarial worms
* * *n. (pl. filariae)any of the long threadlike nematode worms that, as adults, are parasites of human connective and lymphatic tissues capable of causing disease. They include the genera Brugia, Loa, Onchocerca, and Wuchereria. Filariae differ from the intestinal nematodes (see hookworm) in that they undergo part of their development in the body of a blood-sucking insect, e.g. a mosquito, on which they subsequently depend for their transmission to another human host. See also microfilaria.• filarial adj.
* * *Fi·la·ria (fĭ-larґe-ə) [L. filum thread] a name formerly used as a genus to include some members of the superfamily Filarioidea, now classified in a variety of genera.
Medical dictionary. 2011.