• Journal Article

Monitoring lymphatic filariasis control in Tanzania: Effect of repeated mass drug administration on circulating filarial antigen prevalence in young schoolchildren

Citation

Simonsen, P. E., Magesa, S., Derua, Y. A., Rwegoshora, R. T., Malecela, M. N., & Pedersen, E. M. (2011). Monitoring lymphatic filariasis control in Tanzania: Effect of repeated mass drug administration on circulating filarial antigen prevalence in young schoolchildren. International Health, 3(3), 182-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.inhe.2011.06.009

Abstract

In most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa the control of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is based on annual mass drug administration (MDA) with a combination of ivermectin and albendazole, in order to interrupt transmission. We monitored the effect of four repeated MDAs with this combination, as implemented by the Tanzanian National Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme (NLFEP), on the circulating filarial antigen (CFA) status of young schoolchildren. A new batch of Standard 1 pupils from 10 rural primary schools in Tanga Municipality were examined for CFA each year in September/October (691-848 children per survey; mean age of 7.5-8.1 years), from immediately before the first MDA until eight months after the fourth MDA. The overall pre-MDA prevalence of CFA was 25.2%. Only minor and non-significant change in prevalence was seen after the first two MDAs. However, this was followed by substantial and statistically significant decreases in subsequent surveys, and eight months after the fourth MDA the prevalence was only 6.4%. Continuous entomological surveillance in a village accommodating one of the schools showed progressive decrease in transmission right from the first MDA. The usefulness of screening young schoolchildren for CFA as a tool for monitoring the impact of MDA on LF transmission is discussed