Volume 32, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Examination of blood from randomly selected residents in four subdivisions of Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, demonstrated infection in 1.8% of 2,879 persons. Previous studies in four other subdivisions of the city revealed infection in 2.7% of 2,338 persons. In both studies the microfilaremia rate in males was approximately twice that in females. Distribution by race was similar in the two surveys, with microfilaremia in 1% of 1,052 white and 4.1% of 1,286 black residents in the first survey and 0.8% of 2,216 white and 5.4% of 663 black residents in the second. The highest rate of infection was in the 10- to 19-year-old and over 40-year-old age groups. In 13 rural communities near Puerto Limón, infection was found in only three (0.1%) of 3,448 individuals (27% of the population). Dissection revealed filarial larvae in 164 (6%) of 2,714 female captured in 137 of 140 urban houses and in none of 936 from rural houses. Precipitin tests on stomach contents of 643 showed that 85% had taken human blood. The results indicate that endemic bancroftian filariasis in the Puerto Limón area is restricted to the urban population.


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