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Free Content Reduction in the prevalence and intensity of infection in Onchocerca volvulus microfilariae according to ethnicity and community after 8 years of ivermectin treatment on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea

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Bioko is the only island known in the world with endemic onchocerciasis. The island's rural communities consist of villages and cocoa plantations inhabited by Bubi and Fang ethnic groups. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of 8 years of vertical ivermectin distribution on the prevalence and intensity of Onchocerca volvulus infection in the rural population by means of pre- (1989) and post-long term treatment (1998) epidemiological surveys. In both surveys, the entire population of 12 randomly selected communities (1723 and 1082 individuals) was examined. The mean ivermectin therapeutic coverage for the 8 years was 53.2%. Iliac crest skin snips were used for differential diagnosis between O. volvulus and Mansonella streptocerca. The crude O. volvulus infection prevalence before ivermectin intervention was 74.5% (1284/1723); after the intervention it was 38.4% (415/1082). The Community Microfilarial Load (CMFL) before and after ivermectin intervention was 28.29 microfilariae/snip vs. 2.32 microfilariae/snip. The reduction in prevalence and CMFL after eight annual rounds of ivermectin treatment corroborates the drug microfilaricidal activity and good tolerability. In the pre-treatment survey, the prevalence was higher in the Bubi group (77.1%, 1126/1461); post-treatment it was higher among the Fang (51.1%, 92/180). The reduction in prevalence and intensity of O. volvulus infection differed between ethnic groups and communities.
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Keywords: Bioko island; Equatorial Guinea; Onchocerca volvulus; epidemiological survey; ethnicity; ivermectin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Ministerio de Sanidad y Bienestar Social, Equatorial Guinea 2:  Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitaries, Universitat de Barcelona Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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