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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Onchocerciasis in Sudan: the Abu Hamed focus.

The current status of onchocerciasis in Abu Hamed, Northern Province, Sudan, was studied. Of 208 persons attending out-patient clinics in villages in this region, 71 were microfilariae-positive on skin snips or had palpable nodules. Microfilariae and worms in nodules were identified as Onchocerca volvulus. No microfilariae were seen in peripheral blood. Most nodules and microfilariae were found in the pelvic region, but the intensity of infection was uniformly low (av. less than 3 mf/mg). Despite this, signs of onchocercal dermatitis were common and severe, especially over the buttocks. Papular eruptions and scarring often appeared to lead to black-grey hyperpigmentation, but no cases were seen of the unilateral, hyper-reactive 'sowda' described in Arabs in Yemen. No microfilariae were detected in the eyes of any of the patients who had positive outer canthus snips. Serum retinol concentrations were normal but mildly elevated concentrations of serum IgG, IgM and IgA were detected in many patients. Immunoglobulin E values in a sample of 20 microfilariae-positive patients were markedly higher than normal, with most in the 4,000 to 15,000 U/ml range. Eosinophil levels in differential counts of peripheral blood from the 208 villagers were markedly elevated. In skin snip surveys of over 400 villagers and school pupils, sample prevalence rates of 2 to 17.5% were recorded. Simulium biting was seasonal (November to May) and peaked in March. Over-all, the results indicate that O. volvulus infection persists in the Abu Hamed region as a serious cause of skin disease in the absence of other complicating filariases.[1]


  1. Onchocerciasis in Sudan: the Abu Hamed focus. Williams, J.F., Abu Yousif, A.H., Ballard, M., Awad, R., el Tayeb, M., Rasheed, M. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. (1985) [Pubmed]
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