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Severe onchocercal dermatitis in the Ethiopian border region of Sudan. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 1987 Aug;81(4):405-19

Date

08/01/1987

Pubmed ID

3446029

DOI

10.1080/00034983.1987.11812138

Abstract

Onchocerca volvulus infection of the residents of two villages in the Upper Atbara River region of Sudan (63.4% prevalence) was found to be medically and socially significant with a remarkable degree of pruritus and dermal pathology present. The severest skin changes, which were often confined to certain areas of the body, were most common in the teenage group (13-19 years). Quantitation of the clinical changes showed that the most severe alterations were present in patients with the lower levels of microfilariae in the skin (0.1-6 mf mg-1) rather than in those with higher levels. Nodules containing adult O. volvulus were found in many individuals, and often in clusters in older patients. Major losses of vision due to O. volvulus were not found, although microfilariae were frequently seen in the cornea and anterior chamber. The commonest corneal change was punctate keratitis, and this was most frequently seen in the teenage group. Trachomatous changes of eyelids and corneas were also seen. The prevalence values of O. volvulus infection in the two villages were significantly increased when, in addition to microfilarial presence in skin biopsies, onchocercal signs such as punctate keratitis, nodule presence and microfilariae in the anterior chamber were taken into consideration. This illustrates the need to consider factors other than skin snip parasitology in obtaining a diagnosis. This study also emphasizes the degree of severity that onchodermatitis can reach and that low levels of dermal microfilariae can be accompanied by very extensive skin changes without any loss of vision. The necessity of considering the severity of skin changes when defining tolerable levels of onchocerciasis in a community is discussed.

Author List

Ghalib HW, MacKenzie CD, Kron MA, Williams JF, el Khalifa M, el Sheikh H

Author

Michael Kron MD Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adolescent
Adult
Age Factors
Animals
Anterior Chamber
Child
Child, Preschool
Female
Humans
Infant
Keratitis
Lymph Nodes
Male
Microfilariae
Middle Aged
Onchocerciasis
Skin
Skin Diseases, Parasitic
Sudan
Vision Disorders
jenkins-FCD Prod-388 89e904233d719332173309c68ab82b0b2a78a3a7