Volume 98, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A current need in the global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) is the availability of reliable diagnostic tools that can be used to guide programmatic decisions, especially decisions made in the final stages of the program. This study conducted in The Gambia aimed to assess antifilarial antibody levels among populations living in historically highly LF-endemic areas and to evaluate the use of serologic tools to confirm the interruption of LF transmission. A total of 2,612 dried blood spots (DBSs) collected from individuals aged 1 year and above from 15 villages were tested for antibodies to Wb123 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A subset of DBS ( = 599) was also tested for antibodies to Bm14 by ELISA. Overall, the prevalence of Wb123 was low (1.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–2.1%). In 7 of 15 villages (46.7%), there were no Wb123-positive individuals identified. Individuals with positive responses to Wb123 ranged in age from 3 to 100 years. Overall, Bm14 prevalence was also low (1.5%, 95% CI 0.7–2.8%). Bm14 positivity was significantly associated with older age ( < 0.001). The low levels of antibody responses to Wb123 observed in our study strongly suggest that sustainable LF transmission has likely ceased in The Gambia. In addition, our results support the conclusion that serologic tools can have a role in guiding programmatic decision making and supporting surveillance.

[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 : 09 May 2017
  • Accepted : 08 Sep 2017
  • Published online : 20 Nov 2017

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