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Resurgence in filarial transmission after withdrawal of mass drug administration and the relationship between antigenaemia and microfilaraemia – a longitudinal study

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Seven village units endemic for filariasis were assigned randomly into three arms with different intervention strategies in the years 1995 and 1996. Villages in Group A received two annual mass drug administrations (MDAs) of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) plus ivermectin (IVR). Group B received the same MDAs in combination with vector control; in Group C only placebo was administered. Post-treatment evaluation in 1997 revealed marked reductions in microfilaraemia prevalences (MFP) and geometric mean intensities (GMI). Subsequently, vector control in Group B was continued by the community. Groups A and B received no MDAs between 1997 and 1999 and were re-evaluated in 1999. During this evaluation, antigenaemia prevalence (AGP) was estimated along with MFP, using immunochromatographic test (ICT) kits. The gains of the MDAs were sustained in Group B, while resurgences occurred in Group A, where annual transmission potential (ATP) rose from 21 to 631.6 and MFP doubled. Group C continued to have high ATPs (1057–1617), while Group B had very low ATPs (0–63). After Mulla’s corrections, the reductions in MFP were 62.7 and 83.5% and for GMI 72.1 and 91.4% in Group A and B, respectively, compared with Group C. Vector control preserved the gains of MDAs and accounted for 55.8% and 67.1% reductions in MFP and GMI in Group B compared with Group A. The reductions in AGP were 29.4% in Group A and 39.2% in Group B against Group C. The differences between MFP and AGP were nearly uniform across all villages and there was a significant correlation (r=0.98) between the two variables. A similar significant relationship was observed between MFP and AGP values across age groups (r=0.95). Prediction of AGP values from MFP values was proposed with regression equations. We conclude that vector control would be useful as an adjuvant to chemotherapy to prevent resurgences.
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Keywords: annual transmission parameters; antigenaemia; correlations; diethylcarbamazine; filariasis resurgence; mass drug administration; microfilaraemia; vector control

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Research in Medical Entomology, Madurai, India

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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