• Journal Article

The effect of eight half-yearly single-dose treatments with DEC on Wuchereria bancrofti circulating antigenaemia

Citation

Simonsen, P. E., Magesa, S., Meyrowitsch, D. W., Malecela-Lazaro, M. N., Rwegoshora, R. T., Jaoko, W. G., & Michael, E. (2005). The effect of eight half-yearly single-dose treatments with DEC on Wuchereria bancrofti circulating antigenaemia. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 99(7), 541-547. DOI: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2004.11.016

Abstract

The effect of eight half-yearly treatment rounds with diethylcarbamazine (DEC; 6mg/kg bodyweight) on Wuchereria bancrofti-specific circulating filarial antigen (CFA), a marker of adult worm infection, was followed in 79 individuals who were CFA-positive before start of treatment. Half of these were also microfilariae (mf)-positive. Microfilaraemia decreased rapidly after onset of treatment and became undetectable after four treatments. Circulating antigenaemia also decreased progressively, but at a much slower rate. After two, four and eight treatment rounds, the mean CFA intensity was reduced by 81, 94 and 98%, and the prevalence of CFA positivity was 85, 66 and 57%, compared with pre-treatment, respectively. CFA clearance rates were negatively related to pre-treatment CFA intensities, and were higher among pre-treatment mf-negative individuals than among pre-treatment mf-positive individuals. Even among patients who had pre-treatment CFA intensities above the upper measuring level (32000antigen units), and who continued to have intensities above this level after treatment, a decrease in post-treatment CFA intensities was obvious from a continuous decrease in ELISA optical density values. Repeated DEC therapy thus appears to have a slow but profound and persistent macrofilaricidal effect, which in the long run may be beneficial to populations undergoing DEC-based control interventions by reducing the probability of future morbidity development