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Free Content The elimination of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness in the focus of Luba, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

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After the resurgence of sleeping sickness in Luba, Equatorial Guinea, a major campaign to control the disease was established in 1985. The campaign comprised no vector control, but intensive active and passive surveillance using serology for screening, and treatment of all parasitological and suspected serological cases. Total prevalence was used to classify villages as endemic, at risk, anecdotal and non-endemic which also allowed defining the geographic extent of the focus. Active case-finding was implemented from 1985 to 2004. The frequency of surveys was based on parasitological prevalence: twice a year during intensified control, once a year during ordinary control and once every 2 years during the control consolidation phase, when the parasitological prevalence in the whole focus fell to 0.1%. From 1985 to 1999, the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) was used as an initial screening tool, followed by parasitological confirmation of IFAT positive cases, and the Card Agglutination Trypanosomiasis Test (CATT) if necessary. In 2000, the IFAT was replaced by the CATT. Serum-positive individuals without parasitological confirmation were subsequently tested on serial dilution. All cases underwent lumbar puncture to determine the stage of the disease. First-stage cases were treated with pentamidine and second-stage cases with melarsoprol. A few relapses and very advanced cases were treated with eflornithine. The last sleeping sickness case was identified and treated in 1995.

Keywords: Equatorial Guinea; Luba; T. b. gambiense; control strategy; elimination; sleeping sickness; trypanosomiasis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Sleeping Sickness National Control Programme, Bata, Equatorial Guinea 2:  World Health Organization, Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases/Innovative and Intensified Disease Management, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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