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Free Content Chrysops silacea biting densities and transmission potential in an endemic area of human loiasis in south-west Cameroon

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We studied the biting densities of Chrysops silacea and the transmission of loiasis over 1 year in a regenerated forest in the south-west province of Cameroon. A total of 3015 flies caught near a wood fire at ground level during rainy and dry seasons were identified morphologically and 1975 caught during the rainy season were dissected to determine their physiological age and infection rate. The prevalence of microfilaraemia in the human population in the study area was determined using the thick blood smear method. Chrysops silacea was the only species caught. The daily and seasonal biting cycle of C. silacea showed two peaks of activities, 9–11 a.m. and 2–4 p.m. The biting cycles of parous and nulliparous flies showed the same trends, but the density of nulliparous flies biting at all time of the day was 2–3 times higher. Chrysops silacea biting density was high during the rainy season (9.06 ± 6.88 flies/man/h) and lowest during the dry season (0.44 ± 0.75 flies/man/h). An infection rate of 1.72% and a monthly morning and afternoon transmission potentials of 120769.11 and 139016.64 infective head L3/man were observed, respectively, in the rainy season. Even though few Chrysops carried Loa loa infective larvae (0.7%), their parasite load was high, giving a high level of transmission of L. loa in the area. A total of 20.37% of the people examined for blood microfilariae were positive. These results suggest that the study area is an active focus of loiasis transmission.

Keywords: Cameroon; Chrysops silacea; Loa loa; seasonal biting density; transmission

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Life Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon, 2: Tropical Medicine Research Station, Kumba, Cameroon

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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