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Lymphatic filariasis transmission in Rufiji District, southeastern Tanzania: infection status of the human population and mosquito vectors after twelve rounds of mass drug administration

Jones, Clarer, Ngasala, Billy, Derua, Yahya A, Terimo, Donath, Reimer, Lisa ORCID:, Bockarie, Moses and Malecela, Mwelecele N (2018) 'Lymphatic filariasis transmission in Rufiji District, southeastern Tanzania: infection status of the human population and mosquito vectors after twelve rounds of mass drug administration'. Parasites & Vectors, Vol 11, Issue 588.

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Control of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in most of the sub-Saharan African countries is based on annual mass drug administration (MDA) using a combination of ivermectin and albendazole. Monitoring the impact of this intervention is crucial for measuring the success of the LF elimination programmes. This study assessed the status of LF infection in Rufiji district, southeastern Tanzania after twelve rounds of MDA.
Community members aged between 10 and 79 years were examined for Wuchereria bancrofti circulating filarial antigens (CFA) using immunochromatographic test cards (ICTs) and antigen-positive individuals were screened for microfilaraemia. All study participants were examined for clinical manifestation of LF and interviewed for drug uptake during MDA rounds. Filarial mosquito vectors were collected indoor and outdoor and examined for infection with W. bancrofti using a microscope and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques.
Out of 854 participants tested, nine (1.1%) were positive for CFA and one (0.1%) was found to be microfilaraemic. The prevalence of hydrocele and elephantiasis was 4.8% and 2.9%, respectively. Surveyed drug uptake rates were high, with 70.5% of the respondents reporting having swallowed the drugs in the 2014 MDA round (about seven months before this study). Further, 82.7% of the respondents reported having swallowed the drugs at least once since the inception of MDA programme in 2000. Of the 1054 filarial vectors caught indoors and dissected to detect W. bancrofti infection none was found to be infected. Moreover, analysis by qPCR of 1092 pools of gravid Culex quinquefasciatus collected outdoors resulted in an estimated infection rate of 0.1%. None of the filarial vectors tested with qPCR were found to be infective.
Analysis of indices of LF infection in the human population and filarial mosquito vectors indicated a substantial decline in the prevalence of LF and other transmission indices, suggesting that local transmission was extremely low if occurring at all in the study areas. We, therefore, recommend a formal transmission assessment survey (TAS) to be conducted in the study areas to make an informed decision on whether Rufiji District satisfied WHO criteria for stopping MDA.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Lymphatic System > WH 700 Lymphatic system. Lymphatic diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 16:04
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2019 08:41


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