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A Laboratory-Based Surveillance System for Wuchereria bancrofti in Togo: A Practical Model for Resource-Poor Settings

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  • Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, National Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Ministère de la Santé, Togo; Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Mectizan Donation Program, Atlanta, Georgia
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One goal of the Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) is interruption of disease transmission through annual mass drug administration (MDA) in areas where LF prevalence is greater than 1%. After MDAs are completed, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a period of passive surveillance before final certification of LF elimination is achieved. Guidelines for such a surveillance system have yet to be developed. This paper describes a surveillance system launched in Togo in 2006. The system uses existing laboratories with technicians on call at night who, among other activities, prepare nocturnal thick blood smears for malaria diagnosis that can also be used for LF diagnosis. During its first 2 years (2006–2007), the system provided geographically disperse sampling nationwide, and 1 of 750 people residing in Togo was tested. Over the same period, the system detected two cases of LF, both from areas previously considered non-endemic. This system could be a cost-effective, sustainable model for WHO-mandated passive surveillance after cessation of MDA.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Els Mathieu, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, National Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mail Stop F-22, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724. E-mail: emm7@cdc.gov

Authors' addresses: Els Mathieu, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, National Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: emm7@cdc.gov. Ameyo Dorkenoo and Felix K. J. Otogbe, Ministère de la Santé, Lome, Togo, E-mails: monicadork@yahoo.fr and otogbekof@yahoo.fr. Philip J. Budge, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, National Center for Global Health, and Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: pbudge@cdc.gov. Yao K. Sodahlon, Mectizan Donation Program, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: ysodahlon@taskforce.org.

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