Publications (2)0 Total impact
Article: Impact of ivermectin on onchocerciasis transmission: assessing the empirical evidence that repeated ivermectin mass treatments may lead to elimination/eradication in West-Africa.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP) in West Africa has been closed down at the end of 2002. All subsequent control will be transferred to the participating countries and will almost entirely be based on periodic mass treatment with ivermectin. This makes the question whether elimination of infection or eradication of onchocerciasis can be achieved using this strategy of critical importance. This study was undertaken to explore this issue. METHODS: An empirical approach was adopted in which a comprehensive analysis was undertaken of available data on the impact of more than a decade of ivermectin treatment on onchocerciasis infection and transmission. Relevant entomological and epidemiological data from 14 river basins in the OCP and one basin in Cameroon were reviewed. Areas were distinguished by frequency of treatment (6-monthly or annually), endemicity level and additional control measures such as vector control. Assessment of results were in terms of epidemiological and entomological parameters, and as a measure of inputs, therapeutic and geographical coverage rates were used. RESULTS: In all of the river basins studied, ivermectin treatment sharply reduced prevalence and intensity of infection. Significant transmission, however, is still ongoing in some basins after 10-12 years of ivermectin treatment. In other basins, transmission may have been interrupted, but this needs to be confirmed by in-depth evaluations. In one mesoendemic basin, where 20 rounds of four-monthly treatment reduced prevalence of infection to levels as low as 2-3%, there was significant recrudescence of infection within a few years after interruption of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Ivermectin treatment has been very successful in eliminating onchocerciasis as a public health problem. However, the results presented in this paper make it almost certain that repeated ivermectin mass treatment will not lead to the elimination of transmission of onchocerciasis from West Africa. Data on 6-monthly treatments are not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions.Filaria Journal 04/2003; 2(1):8.
Article: Macrofilaricides and onchocerciasis control, mathematical modelling of the prospects for elimination[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abstract Background In most endemic parts of the world, onchocerciasis (river blindness) control relies, or will soon rely, exclusively on mass treatment with the microfilaricide ivermectin. Worldwide eradication of the parasite by means of this drug is unlikely. Macrofilaricidal drugs are currently being developed for human use. Methods We used ONCHOSIM, a microsimulation mathematical model of the dynamics of onchocerciasis transmission, to explore the potentials of a hypothetical macrofilaricidal drug for the elimination of onchocerciasis under different epidemiological conditions, as characterized by previous intervention strategies, vectorial capacity and levels of coverage. Results With a high vector biting rate and poor coverage, a very effective macrofilaricide would appear to have a substantially higher potential for achieving elimination of the parasite than does ivermectin. Conclusions Macrofilaricides have a substantially higher potential for achieving onchocerciasis elimination than ivermectin, but high coverage levels are still key. When these drugs become available, onchocerciasis elimination strategies should be reconsidered. In view of the impact of control efforts preceding the introduction of macrofilaricides on the success of elimination, it is important to sustain current control efforts.BMC Public Health. 01/2001;