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Screening of army soldiers for Wuchereria bancrofti infection in the metropolitan Recife region, Brazil: implications for epidemiological surveillance

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SummaryBetween 1989 and 1995, blood surveys were performed for Wuchereria bancrofti infection in several barracks of the Brazilian army in the metropolitan Recife region. For initial screening, 60 μl of capillary blood were examined for microfilaria. All men who tested positive had microfilaria quantified by filtration of venous blood through a polycarbonate membrane. Of 23773 men screened, 585 (2.5%) had microfilaria (mf). Microfilarial density ranged from < 1–8706 mf/ml of blood. Thirteen individuals had ultra-low microfilarial densities (1 mf/11 ml of blood). Characterization of 174 autochthonous cases made it possible to map 8 new districts in 4 cities within metropolitan Recife region where transmission of W. bancrofti was previously unknown. Routine screening of soldiers in the military may provide important surveillance data for national programmes to eliminate transmission of W. bancrofti.

Keywords: Mansonella ozzardi; Wuchereria bancrofti; epidemiology; public health; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Parasitologia do Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Recife, Brazil 2: Seção do Serviço de Saaúde da 7 3: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil.

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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