Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Parasitic Diseases, Volume 36, Number 1, p.10-18 (2012)



adolescent, adult, age, aged, agricultural worker, article, blood sampling, clinical feature, controlled study, cross-sectional study, disease duration, disease surveillance, Ethiopia, female, health program, human, infection control, infection risk, ivermectin, major clinical study, male, Microfilaria, occupational hazard, Onchocerca volvulus, onchocerciasis, parasite load, parasite transmission, parasite vector, priority journal, sex difference, skin examination, skin injury


Onchocerciasis is a disease of public health and socio-economic importance in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess parasitological and clinico-epidemiological features of onchocerciasis in the Anfilo District, West Wellega, prior to implementation of Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI) to generate epidemiological and parasitological data for use in control program of the disease and subsequent evaluation of CDTI. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Anfilo District of West Wellega zone during a period of 1 month: from mid-August to mid-September 2006. Data on socio-demographic characteristics were collected using a standardized questionnaire prepared for this purpose. All persons were examined clinically for skin signs and symptoms of onchocerciasis. Two skin snips, one from each side of the gluteal fold were taken using blood lancet and sterilized razor blade and examined for microfilaria. All data were categorized, coded, entered in a data base and analyzed using SPSS version 15. 0. for windows. A total of 1114 individuals ≥15 years were examined for microfilariae (mf) of Onchocerca volvulus and onchocercal skin disease (OSD). The prevalence of onchocercal (mf) carrier was 74. 8% (833/1114). In both genders, the prevalence of onchocerciasis showed direct correlations with the age of individuals (R 2 = 0. 79, P < 0. 05). The infection rate varied with the occupation of the study subjects, with preponderance among farmers. Among the subjects with onchocerciasis, the mf density ranged from 1. 0 to 711. 0 per mg of skin snip with a mean density (SD) and median values of 32. 1 (61. 5) and 10. 4 respectively. The overall community microfilariae load (CMFL), the most sensitive parasitological indicator of onchocerciasis was 19. 6. The pervasiveness of OSD among the study subjects was 26. 4%. OSD was more frequent in males (32. 4%) than their female counterparts (20. 8%, P < 0. 05). The overall prevalence of onchocercal nodule carrier, the symptom opted for determining the community-wide prevalence of onchocerciasis was 12. 1%. Leopard skin, the proxy of longstanding infection of onchocerciasis in the community, was also relatively high (19. 1%). The abundance of mf in skin would definitely lead to high transmission potential in the Anfilo District. The situation in the Anfilo District should call for continued CDTI, owing to success of similar recommendations for such programmes in other parts of the country and elsewhere. © 2011 Indian Society for Parasitology.


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Cite this Research Publication

G. Uab Dori, Belay, Tc, Belete, Hc, Panicker, K. Nd, and Hailu, Ac, “Parasitological and clinico-epidemiological features of onchocerciasis in West Wellega, Ethiopia”, Journal of Parasitic Diseases, vol. 36, pp. 10-18, 2012.