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The epidemiology of lymphatic filariasis in Ghana, explained by the possible existence of two strains of Wuchereria bancrofti

de, Dziedzom Komi, Osei-Poku, Jewelna, Blum, Julia, Baidoo, Helena, Brown, Charles Addoquaye, Lawson, Bernard Walter, Wilson, Michael David, Bockarie, Moses and Boakye, Daniel Adjei (2014) 'The epidemiology of lymphatic filariasis in Ghana, explained by the possible existence of two strains of Wuchereria bancrofti'. Pan African Medical Journal, Vol 17, Issue 133.

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Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating disease caused by the filarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti. It is earmarked for elimination by the year 2020 through the Global Program for the Elimination of LF (GPELF). In Ghana, mass treatment has been on-going since the year 2000. Earlier studies have revealed differing epidemiology of LF in the North and South of Ghana. This study was therefore aimed at understanding the possible impacts of W. bancrofti diversity on the epidemiology and control of LF in Ghana.


The Mitochondrial, Cytochrome C Oxidase I gene of W. bancrofti samples was sequenced and analyzed. The test sequences were grouped into infrapopulations, and pairwise differences (Π) and mutation rates (θ) were computed. The amount of variance within and among populations was also computed using the AMOVA. The evolutionary history was inferred using the Maximum Parsimony method.


Seven samples from the South and 15 samples from the North were sequenced, and submitted to GenBank with accession numbers GQ479497- GQ479518. The results revealed higher mutation frequencies in the southern population, compared to the northern population. Haplotype analyses revealed a total of 11 haplotypes (Hap) in all the 22 DNA sequences, with high genetic variation and polymorphisms within the southern samples.


This study showed that there is considerable genetic variability within W. bancrofti populations in Ghana, differences that might explain the observed epidemiology of LF. Further studies are however required for an in-depth understanding of LF epidemiology and control.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > QX 20 Research (General)
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 203 Nematoda
WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 11:00
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:09


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