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The Role of the Maridi Dam in Causing an Onchocerciasis-Associated Epilepsy Epidemic in Maridi, South Sudan: An Epidemiological, Sociological, and Entomological Study
Open AccessArticle

Focus of Ongoing Onchocerciasis Transmission Close to Bangui, Central African Republic

Global Health Institute, University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
INSERM, University of Limoges, CHU Limoges, IRD, U1094 Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and Tropical Neurology, GEIST, 87000 Limoges, France
Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Bangui, Bangui BP:3183, Central African Republic
Onchocerciasis Control Programme, Neglected Disease Control Programme, Bangui P.O. Box 883, Central African Republic
HILPharma Organization, Yaoundé P.O. Box 25625, Cameroon
Association to Promote Neurosciences (APRONES), Kinshasa XI P.O. Box 127, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 337;
Received: 25 March 2020 / Revised: 28 April 2020 / Accepted: 29 April 2020 / Published: 30 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy)
Recently, there were anecdotal reports of a high number of persons with epilepsy, including children with nodding seizures in the Landja Mboko area located about 9 km from the capital city Bangui, Central African Republic. We suspected the area to be endemic for onchocerciasis, and that the alleged increase in the number of epilepsy cases was due to ongoing Onchocerca volvulus transmission. However, ivermectin mass drug distribution (MDA) had never been implemented in the area. Therefore we performed an Ov16 antibody prevalence study among children, aged 6–9 years, using the biplex rapid diagnostic test (SD Bioline Oncho/LF biplex IgG4 RDT). The overall Ov16 seroprevalence was 8.9%, and that of lymphatic filariasis (LF) was 1.9%. Ov16 seropositivity was highest in Kodjo (20.0%), a village close to rapids on the river. Our study shows that there is ongoing O. volvulus transmission in the Landja Mboko area. We recommend that the extent of this onchocerciasis focus should be mapped, and the introduction of ivermectin MDA should be considered in these communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: onchocerciasis; epilepsy; Ov16 seroprevalence; children; Central African Republic onchocerciasis; epilepsy; Ov16 seroprevalence; children; Central African Republic
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de Smet, E.; Metanmo, S.; Mbelesso, P.; Kemata, B.; Siewe Fodjo, J.N.; Boumédiène, F.; Ekwoge, H.T.; Yangatimbi, E.; Ajzenberg, D.; Badibanga, O.; Preux, P.-M.; Colebunders, R. Focus of Ongoing Onchocerciasis Transmission Close to Bangui, Central African Republic. Pathogens 2020, 9, 337.

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