Parasitological, Serological, and Clinical Studies of Wuchereria Bancrofti in Limbe, Haiti

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  • Laboratory of Human Biology and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, W.I.
  • | Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Lyon, France
  • | § “Bon Samaritain” Hospital, Limbe, Haiti, W.I.

A survey for Wuchereria bancrofti in Limbe, Haiti (est. pop. = 10,500) revealed that 17% (231/1,450) had a patent infection. Nearly half of those surveyed harbored fewer than 10 microfilariae (mf) per 20 mm3 of finger-prick blood; the median mf density for females and males was 12.4 and 9.5, respectively. Parasitemias occurred as early as age 4. Antibody titers ≥1:20 against adult D. viteae antigen were observed in 38% of microfilaremic individuals and in 29% of amicrofilaremic individuals. Peak antibody responsiveness (40%) was observed between 5 and 9 years of age. In all age groups there was no correlation between mf density and antibody titer. Among the mf carriers, 5.6% had no clinical symptoms. Lymphangitis was a common feature with 14.3% having lymphedema, 8.2% with edema of the lower extremities, and 1.3% reporting episodes of chyluria. Genital involvement among women was rare, but in males 5.4% had genital swelling and 4.5% had hydroceles. Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (Say) was observed to support the complete development of W. bancrofti in Limbe.