April 30, 2015
Conventional Parasitology and DNA-based Diagnostic Methods for Onchocerciasis Elimination Programmes
Commonly used methods of diagnosing Onchocerca vululus infections (microscopic detection of microfilaria in skin snips and nodule palpation) are insensitive. Improved methods are needed for monitoring and evaluation of onchocerciasis elimination programs and for clinical diagnosis.This paper reports on the development and evaluation of a probe-based qPCR assay that was developed for detecting O. volvulus DNA. The evaluation was done using samples from a DOLF study site in eastern Côte d’Ivoire. The study has shown that qPCR is more sensitive than skin snip microscopy or nodule palpation for detecting onchocerciasis in individuals and in populations. We believe that qPCR (alone or together with other methods) has the potential to be a useful tool for different phases of onchocerciasis elimination programs including mapping of endemic areas, monitoring progress, and verification of elimination.
The Impact of Two Semi-annual Treatments with Albendazole Alone on Lymphatic Filariasis and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections: A Community-based Study in the Republic of Congo
Implementation of mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin plus albendazole (ALB) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) has been delayed in central Africa because of the risk of serious adverse events in subjects with high Loa microfilaremia. We conducted a community trial to assess the impact of semiannual MDA with ALB (400 mg) alone on LF and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections in the Republic of Congo. While community rates of LF infection were not significantly affected, W. bancrofti microfilaria densities in infected individuals were reduced by 60% (P=0.01). Also, after MDA hookworm infection rates in the community were reduced by 91%, with less impressive effects on Ascaris and Trichuris.