Proposed panel of diagnostic criteria, including the use of ultrasound, to refine the concept of ‘endemic normals’ in lymphatic filariasis
Although living adult Wuchereria bancrofti worms can be detected by ultrasound examination of the scrotal area in approximately 80% of men infected with this filarial parasite, the location of the adult worms in the remaining 20% remains unclear. To determine this, 32 individuals who had W. bancrofti microfilaraemia but no adult worms detectable on ultrasound were treated with diethylcarbarmazine (DEC), either with a single 6 mg/kg dose (n = 13) or with a 12-day course of 6 mg/kg per day (n = 19). They were then monitored with serial physical and ultrasound examinations. Thirteen (41%) subjects developed small, single scrotal nodules 12 h to 7 days after treatment; this rate was unaffected by the dose of DEC. No nodules were detected outside the scrotal area. All 5 men with lymphangiectasia suspected on ultrasound before treatment developed scrotal nodules, compared to 8 (29.6%) of 27 men without ultrasonographic evidence (P = 0.006). Thus, using both ultrasound and ‘provocative’ treatment with DEC, adult W. bancrofti can be detected in the scrotal area of an estimated 88% of infected men. Because no single diagnostic test for W. bancrofti infection is completely sensitive, a panel of tests, including ultrasound, is proposed to identify with greater accuracy ‘endemic normals’ for immunological and epidemiological studies.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Parasitologia, Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhaes-FIOCRUZ and Hospital das Clinicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil 2: Servico de Urologia, Hospital das Clinicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil 3: Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA
Publication date: August 1, 1999