Volume 97, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To compare diagnostic tests for onchocerciasis in a setting that has suppressed transmission, a randomized, age-stratified study was implemented in an area in Tanzania that had received 15 rounds of annual mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin. Study participants ( = 948) from 11 villages underwent a questionnaire, skin examination, skin snips, and blood draw. The burden of symptomatic disease was low. Ov-16 antibody rapid diagnostic test (RDT) results were positive in 38 (5.5%) participants, with 1 (0.5%), 1 (0.4%), and 2 (0.8%) in children aged 0–5, 6–10, and 11–15 years, respectively. Despite significant impact of MDA on transmission, the area would have failed to meet World Health Organization serologic criteria for stopping MDA if a full evaluation had been conducted. The specificity of the RDT, which is 97–98%, may result in the identification of a number of false positives that would exceed the current stop MDA threshold.


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  • Received : 15 Dec 2016
  • Accepted : 21 Apr 2017

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