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Twelve-month longitudinal parasitological assessment of lymphatic filariasis-positive individuals: impact of a biannual treatment with ivermectin and albendazole.

Trop Med Int Health; 22(11): 1451-1456, 2017 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28891597


Mass drug administration (MDA) for the control of lymphatic filariasis (LF), in Ghana, started in the year 2000. While this had great success in many implementation units, there remain areas with persistent transmission, after more than 10 years of treatment. A closer examination of the parasite populations could help understand the reasons for persistent infections and formulate appropriate strategies to control LF in these areas of persistent transmission.


In a longitudinal study, we assessed the prevalence of microfilaraemia (mf) in two communities with 12 years of MDA in Ghana. In baseline surveys 6 months after the National MDA in 2014, 370 consenting individuals were tested for antigenaemia using immunochromatographic test (ICT) cards and had their mf count determined through night blood surveys. 48 ICT positives, of whom, 17 were positive for mf, were treated with 400 µg/kg ivermectin + 400 mg albendazole and subsequently followed for parasitological assessment at 3-month intervals for 1 year. This overlapped with the National MDA in 2015.


There was a 68% parasite clearance 3 months after treatment. The pre-treatment mf count differed significantly from the post-treatment mf counts at 3 months (P = 0.0023), 6 months (P = 0.0051), 9 months (P = 0.0113) and 12 months (P = 0.0008).


In these settings with persistent LF transmission, twice-yearly treatment may help accelerate LF elimination. Further large-scale evaluations are required to ascertain these findings.