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Assessing endgame strategies for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis: A model-based evaluation of the impact of DEC-medicated salt.

Sci Rep; 7(1): 7386, 2017 Aug 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28785097
Concern is growing regarding the prospects of achieving the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) by 2020. Apart from operational difficulties, evidence is emerging which points to unique challenges that could confound achieving LF elimination as extinction targets draw near. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC)-medicated salt may overcome these complex challenges posed by the endgame phase of parasite elimination. We calibrated LF transmission models using Bayesian data-model assimilation techniques to baseline and follow-up infection data from 11 communities that underwent DEC salt medication. The fitted models were used to assess the utility of DEC salt treatment for achieving LF elimination, in comparison with other current and proposed drug regimens, during the endgame phase. DEC-medicated salt consistently reduced microfilaria (mf) prevalence from 1% mf to site-specific elimination thresholds more quickly than the other investigated treatments. The application of DEC salt generally required less than one year to achieve site-specific LF elimination, while annual and biannual MDA options required significantly longer durations to achieve the same task. The use of DEC-medicated salt also lowered between-site variance in extinction timelines, especially when combined with vector control. These results indicate that the implementation of DEC-medicated salt, where feasible, can overcome endgame challenges facing LF elimination programs.