Summary of Onchocerca volvulus (River blindness)
Onchocerca volvulus is a nematode that causes onchocerciasis or "river blindness" mostly in Africa. The bite of the female blackfly transmits the parasite. Long-term corneal inflammation, or keratitis, leads to thickening of the corneal stroma which ultimately leads to blindness. Infection may also cause skin changes, such as hyperpigmentation and loss of elastic fibers. Patients may also have an allergic reaction to the microfilaria. Treatment is with ivermectin.