Prevalence of hydrocele as a rapid diagnostic index for lymphatic filariasis

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The real burden of lymphatic filariasis in most endemic areas remains unknown even though it is a major public health problem in many tropical countries, particularly in sub-saharan Africa. The nocturnal periodicity of the parasite requires parasitological examinations to be done at night. The aim of this study was to develop and validate rapid epidemiological assessment tools for the community diagnosis of lymphatic filariasis, that may be used in the future to determine the distribution of the disease and identify high risk communities in Ghana. Twenty communities with varying endemicity of filariasis were sampled from 3 endemic districts. Community members were selected for the study using a modified Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) cluster sampling technique. The prevalence of hydrocele was high (range 4.5-40.75%, mean 17.78%) and the community prevalence of microfilaraemia correlated well with that of hydrocele (r = 0.84). The findings suggest that it is possible to obtain reliable and valid estimates of the community burden of lymphatic filariasis using the prevalence of hydrocele as a diagnostic index.



EMTREE medical terms: article; cluster analysis; female; filariasis; high risk population; human; hydrocele; lymphatic system disease; major clinical study; male; parasitology; periodicity; prevalence; public health, MeSH: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Animals; Child; Child, Preschool; Elephantiasis, Filarial; Female; Ghana; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Male; Microfilaria; Middle Aged; Prevalence; Testicular Hydrocele; Wuchereria bancrofti, Diagnostic index; Filariasis; Ghana; Hydrocele; Prevalence; Wuchereria bancrofti


Gyapong, J. O., Webber, R. H., Morris, J., & Bennett, S. (1998). Prevalence of hydrocele as a rapid diagnostic index for lymphatic filariasis. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 92(1), 40-43.