Serologic Studies on Onchocerciasis in Guatemala using Fixed-Tissue Sections of Adult Onchocerca Volvulus

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  • Vector Biology and Control Division, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Sera from 458 residents of a coffee plantation in an area of Guatemala endemic for onchocerciasis were examined for the presence of antibodies to Onchocerca volvulus using a fluorescent antibody (IFA) test with sections of adult worms as the antigen. Antibody response increased with age of the residents and microfilarial density. A total of 70.0% of the residents were serologically positive and 65.1% were positive for microfilariae. Males had higher microfilarial densities and higher IFA responses. Sixty-three individuals were positive for microfilariae and IFA-negative indicating a lack of sensitivity on the part of the test antigen. Seventy-four individuals were negative for microfilariae and IFA-positive, suggesting the possible usefulness of the test in the determination of present or past infection in the absence of microfilariae.