|Description:||Magnified 125X, this photomicrograph revealed the presence of three Guinea worms, Dracunculiasis medinensis. See PHIL 8209 through 8235 for images captured in Ghana documenting the ravages of this nematode, and the link below diagramming this parasite’s lifecycle.|
The clinical manifestations are localized but incapacitating. The worm emerges as a whitish filament (duration of emergence: 1 to 3 weeks) in the center of a painful ulcer, accompanied by inflammation and frequently by secondary bacterial infection.
The clinical presentation of dracunculiasis is so typical, and well known to the local population, that it does not need laboratory confirmation. In addition, the disease occurs in areas where such confirmation is unlikely to be available. Examination of the fluid discharged by the worm can show rhabditiform larvae. No serologic test is available.