Transmission Indices of Loa loa in the Chaillu Mountains, Congo

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  • Laboratoire de Zoologie, Université Paris Val de Marne, ORSTOM, Laboratoire d'Entomologie, Université Marien Ngouabi, Créteil, France

A longitudinal entomological survey of the vectors of loiasis was conducted in the Missama area (Lekoumou region) in the Congo from September 1987 to August 1989. The principal catching site was a palm grove surrounded by forest 3 km from the village. Landing/biting densities of Chrysops were measured by standardized fly catches lasting 11 hr carried out twice a month. Vector landing densities were also assessed in the Bantu and Pygmy villages and in the fields. Populations of Chrysops from the palm grove were examined 6 times a month for infection with the infective stage of Loa loa. Chrysops silacea was the predominate vector except at the beginning of the rainy season, when C. dimidiata was the prevailing species. Chrysops were caught throughout rainy season, from October to June. The host-seeking activity of C. silacea was greatest in the middle of this season (February), but occurred sooner (October) for C. dimidiata. The following variables associated with transmission were calculated from our observations in the palm grove (the first figure corresponds to the first year of the study and the figure in parentheses corresponds to the second year). It was calculated that 2.658 (2.185) C. silacea and 1.412 (1.182) C. dimidiata could bite a person in the palm grove per year, including an average of 14.4 (12.7) infective C. silacea and 9.8 (7.2) infective C. dimidiata. The percentage of all dissected flies with third stage larvae in the head and the mean number of larvae in the head/infective fly were 0.57% and 10.1 ± 6.8 for C. silacea and 0.66% and 11.2 ± 6.5 for C. dimidiata, respectively. The estimated annual transmission potentials were 171.1 (102.9) for C. silacea and 116.1 (73.8) for C. dimidiata. In the palm grove, transmission was ensured by 2 effective vectors during the rainy season (October to May). Although the annual biting rate for both species was twice as low in the village as in the forest, our data suggest that effective transmission occurs there also.