Rapid integrated clinical survey to determine prevalence and co-distribution patterns of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis in a co-endemic area:The Angolan experience

Brito, Miguel and Paulo, Rossely and Van-Dunem, Pedro and Martins, António and Unnasch, Thomas R and Novak, Robert J and Jacob, Benjamin and Stanton, Michelle C and Molyneux, David H and Kelly-Hope, Louise A (2017) Rapid integrated clinical survey to determine prevalence and co-distribution patterns of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis in a co-endemic area:The Angolan experience. Parasite epidemiology and control, 2 (3). pp. 71-84. ISSN 2405-6731

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The Republic of Angola is a priority country for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) elimination, however, the co-distribution of the filarial parasite Loa loa (loiasis) is a significant impediment, due to the risk of severe adverse events (SAEs) associated with ivermectin used in mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns. Angola has a high risk loiasis zone identified in Bengo Province where alternative interventions may need to be implemented; however, the presence and geographical overlap of the three filarial infections/diseases are not well defined. Therefore, this study conducted a rapid integrated filarial mapping survey based on readily identifiable clinical conditions of each disease in this risk zone to help determine prevalence and co-distribution patterns in a timely manner with limited resources. In total, 2007 individuals from 29 communities in five provincial municipalities were surveyed. Community prevalence estimates were determined by the rapid assessment procedure for loiasis (RAPLOA) and rapid epidemiological mapping of onchocerciasis (REMO) together with two questions on LF clinical manifestations (presence of lymphoedema, hydrocoele). Overall low levels of endemicity, with different overlapping distributions were found. Loiasis was found in 18 communities with a prevalence of 2.0% (31/1571), which contrasted to previous results defining the area as a high risk zone. Onchocerciasis prevalence was 5.3% (49/922) in eight communities, and LF prevalence was 0.4% for lymphoedema (8/2007) and 2.6% for hydrocoeles (20/761 males) in seven and 12 communities respectively. The clinical mapping survey method helped to highlight that all three filarial infections are present in this zone of Bengo Province. However, the significant difference in loiasis prevalence found between the past and this current survey suggests that further studies including serological and parasitological confirmation are required. This will help determine levels of infection and risk, understand the associations between clinical, serological and parasitological prevalence patterns, and better determine the most appropriate treatment strategies to reach onchocerciasis and LF elimination targets in the loiasis co-endemic areas. Our results also suggest that the utility of the earlier RAPLOA derived maps, based on surveys undertaken over a decade ago, are likely to be invalid given the extent of population movement and environmental change, particularly deforestation, and that fine scale micro-mapping is required to more precisely delineate the interventions required defined by these complex co-endemicities.

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Journal Article
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Parasite epidemiology and control
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24 May 2018 13:02
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17 Sep 2023 02:18