Volume 95, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Mass treatment with ivermectin for onchocerciasis was stopped in 2012 in Abu Hamed, an isolated focus on the River Nile in northern Sudan. A 3-year posttreatment surveillance (PTS) ensued, at the end of which an evaluation was conducted in 2015 following the current World Health Organization guidelines for verification of onchocerciasis elimination. Vector black flies were collected from sentinel breeding sites and finger-prick bloodspots were collected from children ≤ 10 years of age resident in 35 communities within the focus. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of 19,191 flies from four sites for the O-150 parasite-specific marker found no flies carrying larvae (0%, 95% upper confidence limit [UCL] = 0.16), and serological testing of 5,266 children identified only one Ov16 seropositive child (0.019%, 95% UCL = 0.074); whose skin snips were negative when tested by O-150 PCR assay. These results indicate that for the first time in Africa, onchocerciasis elimination has been verified after a successful PTS in Abu Hamed.


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  • Received : 07 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 16 May 2016

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