Indexed on: 25 Aug '07Published on: 25 Aug '07Published in: Tropical doctor
Filarial parasites infect an estimated 140 million people worldwide. Wuchereria bancrofti, Onchocerca volvulus, Loa loa and Mansonella perstans are responsible for most filarial infections in sub-Saharan Africa. We describe the prevalence and the clinical characteristics of filariasis in symptomatic patients in Goundi Sanitary district:167 patients were enrolled (99 men, 68 women). M. perstans microfilariae were isolated in peripheral blood in 164 cases, while Loa loa and Wuchereria bancrofti filariasis were diagnosed in only six and three cases, respectively. The most frequent filariasis observed in our study were due to M. perstans and L. loa, while the few cases of W. bancrofti filariasis seem to have been acquired abroad. No cases of O. volvulus were observed. Microfilarial burden was not related to symptoms, but a correlation between eosinophilia and pruritus was evident. No relationship was observed between eosinophils and symptoms. The prevalence observed in symptomatic patients could reflect the real prevalence of filariasis.