Onchocerciasis in Guatemala

I. Epidemiological Studies of Microfilaruria

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  • Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Onchocerciasis Section, Division of Epidemiology, General Directorate of Health Services, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, Guatemala
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Microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus were detected in the urine of 65 residents of three coffee plantations near Yepocapa, Guatemala. In this area the prevalence of microfilaruria is estimated to be between 17% and 30% of the population 10 years of age and older. Almost all of the people examined had clinical manifestations of onchocerciasis and 80% of them had microfilariae in skin snips. The frequency of microfilaruria is associated with the number of microfilariae in the skin. Within each age group those who had lived longer on the coffee plantations were more likely to have microfilariae in a skin snip and more likely to have microfilariae in their urine. The presence of subcutaneous nodules or history of prior nodulectomy did not reduce the incidence of microfilaruria nor did the presence of subcutaneous nodules increase the incidence of microfilariae in the urine.