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

BERNADETTE L. RAMIREZ 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

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LEDA HERNANDEZ 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

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FAITH F. ALBERTO 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

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MICHAEL COLLINS 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

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VALENTINE NFONSAM 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

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TRICIA PUNSALAN 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

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MICHAEL A. KRON 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

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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.

Author Notes

  • 1

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  • 3

    Lopez V, 1980. Mangyans in Historical Perspective: A Study of Cultural Community’s Response to Culture Contact 1925–1975. Manila: Department of Asian Studies, University of The Philippines.

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    Ottesen EA, Duke BO, Karam M, Behbehani K, 1997. Strategies and tools for the control/elimination of lymphatic filariasis. Bull World Health Organ 75 :491–503.

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    Rauyajin O, Kamthornwachara B, Yablo P, 1995. Sociocultural and behavioral aspects of mosquito-borne lymphatic filariasis in Thailand: a qualitative analysis. Soc Sci Med 41 :1705–1713.

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    Osteria T, Okamura JY, 1988. Community-based health care in the Philippine highlands: the Hanunuo Mangyans of Mindoro. Asia Pac J Public Health 2 :230–234.

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    Volker S, 1980. Lymphatic filariasis in Mindoro: a social history of Philippine islands in the 20th century: a case study of a delayed developmental process. Bull World Health Organ 76 (Suppl 2):145–146.

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