Volume 62, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The mechanism by which the minority of patients with onchocerciasis exhibiting the hyperreactive (sowda) form of the disease may be able to kill the microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus is still poorly understood. In this study, the relative amounts of arachidonate and linoleate in serum phospholipids and triglycerides were investigated by gas chromatography both in patients infected with O. volvulus who exhibited either a hyperreactive or a generalized form of onchocerciasis and in persons with no filarial infections. Remarkable differences were observed in the serum triglycerides but not in the phospholipids. In comparison to persons without any filarial infection, significantly lower relative amounts of arachidonate--indicated by elevated triene-tetraene ratios--and of linoleate--indicated by lower diene + tetraene - triene values--were detected in patients with hyperreactive onchocerciasis, and less pronounced differences were found in persons with generalized onchocerciasis. The relationship between reduced amounts of arachidonate and linoleate in serum triglycerides and possible implications on the eicosanoid production in the host-parasite relationship leading to parasite elimination are discussed.


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