Onchocerciasis (pronounced /ˈɒŋkɵsɜrˈsaɪ.əsɨs/ or /ˈɒŋkɵsɜrˈkaɪ.əsɨs/), also known as river blindness and Robles' Disease, is a parasitic disease caused by infection by Onchocerca volvulus, a nematode (roundworm). Onchocerciasis is the world's second-leading infectious cause of blindness. It is not the nematode but its endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, that causes the severe inflammatory response that leaves many blind. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of a blackfly of the genus Simulium. The larval nematodes spread throughout the body. When the worms die their Wolbachia symbionts are released, triggering a host immune system response that causes intense itching and can destroy nearby tissue, such as the eye.Read more on Wikipedia
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