Volume 61, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) experimentally infected with human Loa loa usually remain microfilaremic for a long period of time. Nevertheless some control their microfilaremia while still harboring adults worms, and therefore become occult-infected. A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, targeted on the repeat 3 region of the gene coding for the L. loa 15-kD protein (15r3-PCR), has been evaluated in mandrills infected with third-stage larvae (L3) of L. loa. The results of this assay were negative during the prepatency period (4 months after inoculation), but became positive when microfilariae appeared in the blood, and remained positive in all mandrills, even in those that became amicrofilaremic. These results show that the positivity of the 15r3-PCR assay is linked to the appearance of microfilariae in peripheral blood and demonstrated that L. loa-specific DNA can be detected in blood from occult-infected mandrills.


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