What is Tropical eosinophilia?
Tropical (pulmonary) eosinophilia, or TPE, is characterized by coughing, asthmatic attacks, and an enlarged spleen, and is caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, a filarial infection. It occurs most frequently in India and Southeast Asia. Tropical eosinophilia is considered a manifestation of a species of microfilaria. This disease can be confused with tuberculosis, asthma, or coughs related to roundworms.
Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia is a rare, but well recognised, syndrome characterised by pulmonary interstitial infiltrates and marked peripheral eosinophilia. Early recognition and treatment with the antifilarial drug, diethylcarbamazine, is important, as delay before treatment may lead to progressive interstitial fibrosis and irreversible impairment.
The condition of marked eosinophilia with pulmonary involvement was first termed tropical pulmonary eosinophilia in 1950.