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CONTRASTING WUCHERERIA BANCROFTI MICROFILARIA RATES IN TWO MANGYAN-POPULATED PHILIPPINE VILLAGES

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  • 1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, University of The Philippines, Manila, The Philippines; Department of Health, Manila, The Philippines; Department of Epidemiology and Division of Infectious Diseases, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Lymphatic filariasis caused by infection with Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi is endemic in 45 of 77 provinces in The Philippines. To prepare the island of Mindoro for mass treatment using diethylcarbamazine and albendazole, complete census data were collected in rural villages. A sample of individuals selected from each of two adjacent villages was examined for microfilaremia. Microfilariae were detected from thin smears in 34 (13%) of 272 patients examined from the village of Bayanan and 10 (3.4%) of 292 in the village of Mangangan (P < 0.01, by chi-square test). In these villages, the majority of those infected were members of the ethnic group known as Mangyans: 33 (97%) of 24 in Bayanan and 7 (70%) of 10 in Mangangan (risk ratio = 89, 95% confidence interval = 33–240, P < 0.001.) In children examined who were less than 10 years of age (n = 165), girls were more commonly infected than boys, even though the proportion of males in the general population was greater. Understanding sociocultural characteristics and related behaviors in future observations among the Mangyan may help to explain local differences in the distribution of filariasis. This information should also be helpful in designing more culturally appropriate strategies for the control of lymphatic filariasis among ethnic minorities in The Philippines.

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