Volume 77, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To eliminate transmission of , semiannual mass treatment with ivermectin (Mectizan; donated by Merck & Co) has been underway in Guatemala since 2000. We applied the 2001 World Health Organization (WHO) elimination criteria in the Santa Rosa focus of onchocerciasis transmission in Guatemala (10,923 persons at risk). No evidence of parasite DNA was found in 2,221 vectors (one-sided 95% confidence interval [CI], 0–0.086%), and no IgG4 antibody positives to recombinant antigen OV16 were found in a sample of 3,232 school children (95% CI, 0–0.009%). We also found no evidence of microfilariae in the anterior segment of the eye in 363 area residents (95% CI, 0–0.08%). Our interpretation of these data, together with historical information, suggest that transmission of is permanently interrupted in Santa Rosa and that ivermectin treatments there can be halted.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. 2005. Onchocerciasis (river blindness). Report from the Fourteenth InterAmerican Conference on Onchocerciasis, Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 80 : 257–260. [Google Scholar]
  2. Dadzie Y, Neira M, Hopkins D, 2003. Final report of the conference on the eradicability of onchocerciasis. Filaria J 2 : 2. [Google Scholar]
  3. Blanks J, Richards F, Beltran F, Collins R, Alvarez E, Zea Flores G, Bauler B, Cedillos R, Heisler M, Brandling-Bennett D, Baldwin W, Bayona M, Klein R, Jacox M, 1998. The Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas: a history of partnership. Rev Panam Salud Publica 3 : 367–374. [Google Scholar]
  4. Cupp EW, Ochoa AO, Collins RC, Ramberg FR, Zea G, 1989. The effect of multiple ivermectin treatments on infection of Simulium ochraceum with Onchocerca volvulus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 40 : 501–506. [Google Scholar]
  5. Yamagata Y, Suzuki T, Garcia Manzo GA, 1986. Geographical distribution of the prevalence of nodules of Onchocerca volvulus in Guatemala over the last four decades. Trop Med Parasitol 37 : 28–34. [Google Scholar]
  6. Collins RC, 1979. Development of Onchocerca volvulus in Simulium ochraceum and Simulium metallicum. Am J Trop Med Hyg 28 : 491–495. [Google Scholar]
  7. World Health Organization, 2001. Certification of Elimination of Human Onchocerciasis: Criteria and Procedures. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
  8. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, 2002. XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI Censo Nacional de Habitación 2002. Guatemala City, Guatemala: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica.
  9. Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas, 2006. ¿Cómo Vamos en Coberturas de Tratamiento con Mectizan? Guatemala City, Guatemala: OEPA.
  10. 2006. Onchocerciasis (river blindness). Report from the fifteenth InterAmerican Conference on Onchocerciasis, Caracas, Venezuela. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 81 : 293–296. [Google Scholar]
  11. Winthrop KL, Proaño R, Oliva O, Arana B, Mendoza C, Dominguez A, Amann J, Punkosdy G, Blanco C, Klein R, Sauerbrey M, Richards F, 2006. The reliability of anterior segment lesions as indicators of onchocercal eye disease in Guatemala. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75 : 1058–1062. [Google Scholar]
  12. Organización Panamericana de la Salud, 1992. Evaluación oftalmológica de la oncocercosis en las Americas. Silva JC, Beltrán F, Semba R, eds. Taller de Evaluación Oftalmológica. Washington, DC: Organización Panamericana de la Salud.
  13. Porter CH, Collins RC, 1988. Transmission of Onchocerca volvulus by secondary vectors in Guatemala. Am J Trop Med Hyg 39 : 559–566. [Google Scholar]
  14. Porter CH, Collins RC, 1988. Seasonality of adult black flies and Onchocerca volvulus transmission in Guatemala. Am J Trop Med Hyg 38 : 153–167. [Google Scholar]
  15. Rodriguez-Perez MA, Lilley BG, Dominguez-Vazquez A, Segura-Arenas R, Lizarazo-Ortega C, Mendoza-Herrera A, Reyes-Villanueva F, Unnasch TR, 2004. Polymerase chain reaction monitoring of transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in two endemic states in Mexico. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70 : 38–45. [Google Scholar]
  16. Katholi CR, Toe L, Merriweather A, Unnasch TR, 1995. Determining the prevalence of Onchocerca volvulus infection in vector populations by polymerase chain reaction screening of pools of black flies. J Infect Dis 172 : 1414–1417. [Google Scholar]
  17. Unnasch TR, Meredith SEO, 1996. The use of degenerate primers in conjunction with strain and species oligonucleotides to classify Onchocerca volvulus. Clapp JP, ed. Methods in Molecular Biology. Volume 50. Species Diagnostics Protocols: PCR and Other Nucleic Acid Methods. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 293–303.
  18. Katholi CR, Barker J, 2002. Poolscreen. Birmingham, AL: University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  19. Porter CH, Collins RC, Brandling-Bennett AD, 1988. Vector density, parasite prevalence, and transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in Guatemala. Am J Trop Med Hyg 39 : 567–574. [Google Scholar]
  20. Lobos E, Weiss N, Karam M, Taylor HR, Ottesen EA, Nutman TB, 1991. An immunogenic Onchocerca volvulus antigen: a specific and early marker of infection. Science 251 : 1603–1605. [Google Scholar]
  21. Lipner EM, Dembele N, Souleymane S, Alley WS, Prevots DR, Toe L, Boatin B, Weil GJ, Nutman TB, 2006. Field applicability of a rapid-format anti-Ov-16 antibody test for the assessment of onchocerciasis control measures in regions of endemicity. J Infect Dis 194 : 216–221. [Google Scholar]
  22. Wada Y, 1982. Theoretical approach to the epidemiology of onchocerciasis in Guatemala. Jpn J Med Sci Biol 35 : 183–196. [Google Scholar]
  23. Basanez MG, Collins RC, Porter CH, Little MP, Brandling-Bennett D, 2002. Transmission intensity and the patterns of Onchocerca volvulus infection in human communities. Am J Trop Med Hyg 67 : 669–679. [Google Scholar]
  24. Newland HS, White AT, Greene BM, D’Anna SA, Keyvan-Larijani E, Aziz MA, Williams PN, Taylor HR, 1988. Effect of single-dose ivermectin therapy on human Onchocerca volvulus infection with onchocercal ocular involvement. Br J Ophthalmol 72 : 561–569. [Google Scholar]
  25. Brandling-Bennett AD, Anderson J, Fuglsang H, Collins R, 1981. Onchocerciasis in Guatemala. Epidemiology in fincas with various intensities of infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 30 : 970–981. [Google Scholar]
  26. Filipe JA, Boussinesq M, Renz A, Collins RC, Vivas-Martinez S, Grillet ME, Little MP, Basanez MG, 2005. Human infection patterns and heterogeneous exposure in river blindness. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102 : 15265–15270. [Google Scholar]
  27. Population Reference Bureau, 2004. 2004 World Population Data Sheet. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.
  28. Helmy H, Weil GJ, Ellethy AST, Ahmed ES, El Setouhy M, Ramzy RMR, 2006. Bancroftian filariasis: Effect of repeated treatment with diethylcarbamazine and albendazole on microfilaraemia, antigenaemia and antifilarial antibodies. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 100 : 656–662. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 22 Jan 2007
  • Accepted : 19 Mar 2007

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error