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Free Content Assessment of disease and infection of lymphatic filariasis in Northeastern Cambodia

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We assessed the filariasis disease burden in four northeastern provinces of Cambodia by using and validating a key-informant questionnaire, consisting of four questions, with pictures of patients with leg elephantiasis and hydrocoele. The questionnaire was distributed and collected through the school, health and administrative systems. Validation surveys included clinical examination, a card test for W. bancrofti (ICT Filariasis card test, AMRADTM) and night blood finger prick examination of patients reported with clinical elephantiasis. Only 48.0% of questionnaires were returned. A total of 220 patients were reported, mostly from Stung Treng (36.8%) and Rattanakiri provinces (35.0%). Key-informants reported patients with lymphatic filariasis with a sensitivity of 85.7% for leg and 97.0% for scrotum morbidity, and with a specificity of 95.6%. However, substantial over-reporting resulted in very low positive predictive values for elephantiasis of 19.4% for legs and of 23.7% for the scrotum. As 97.4% of patients with clinical lymphatic filariasis were older than 40 years, the diagnostic performance of the questionnaire would be improved by restricting its use to that age group. About 0.7% of 3490 W. bancrofti card tests were positive; the prevalence was 1.94% (12/618) in Rattanakiri, 0.38% (4/1055) in Stung Treng and 0.22% (2/919) in Preah Vihear. W. bancrofti microfilaria were identified in blood from two patients in Rattanakiri (0.32%) and from one patient in Stung Treng (0.09%). Brugia malayi microfilaria were identified in blood from five patients in Rattanakiri (0.81%) only. No patients with microfilariaemia were identified in Preah Vehear. In Mondulkiri province all investigations (card test, night blood examination, clinical examination) for lymphatic filariasis were negative. Our findings confirm the usefulness of key-informant questionnaire for the identification of filariasis patients provided that high adherence can be achieved. Lymphatic filariasis infection and disease is present in northern Cambodian provinces but the burdens of disease and infection are relatively low. These results are being used in the implementation of the national control programme for lymphatic filariasis.

Keywords: Brugia malayi; Cambodia; Wuchereria bancrofti; key-informant; lymphatic filariasis; questionnaire; rapid assessment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01311.x

Affiliations: 1: National Center for Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2: Institut de la Francophonie pour la m├ędecine tropicale, Vientiane, Laos

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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