Volume 95, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



It was not until early 1990s that, when the Imaramagambo focus of southwest Uganda was mapped, mass treatment with a single annual dose of ivermectin for onchocerciaisis control commenced. However, comprehensive investigations on its transmission were launched after a nationwide policy for onchocerciasis elimination in 2007. Entomological surveys throughout the focus from 2007 to 2015 have yielded few or no freshwater crabs (), which serve as the obligate phoretic host of the larvae and pupae of the vector . No flies have been observed or collected since 2007. Skin snips (microscopy) from 294 individuals in 2008 were negative for skin microfilariae, and of the 462 persons analyzed by polymerase chain reaction skin snip poolscreen in 2009, only five (1.08%) persons were indicated as infected with onchocerciasis. All five of the positive persons were at least 40 years old. Serosurvey results showed negative exposure among 3,332 children in 2012 and 3,108 children in 2015. Both were within the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval of the prevalence estimate of 0.06%, which confirmed the elimination of onchocerciasis. Treatment coverage in Imaramagambo was generally poor, and transmission interruption of onchocerciasis could not be attributed solely to annual mass treatment with ivermectin. There was sufficient evidence to believe that the possible disappearance of the flies, presumed to have been the main vector, may have hastened the demise of onchocerciasis in this focus.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 07 Mar 2016
  • Accepted : 04 Apr 2016
  • Published online : 03 Aug 2016

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