Rapid epidemiological assessment of lymphatic filariasis in northern Taraba Focus, Nigeria.
This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Lymphatic Filariasis in eleven (11) foci communities of northern Taraba state. Blood samples were collected by finger prick method to determine the presence of filarial antigen in serum using immunochromatographic card test. Questionnaires and physical examinations were used to assess clinical manifestations associated with the infection. The result showed that 101/336 (30.02%) were positive for W. bancrofti circulating filarial antigen. The circulating filarial antigen prevalence among the eleven communities differ significantly (p<0.05). There was no significant difference between antigenaemia positive males (32.0%) and female (27.7%) (χ2 = 0.491df1, P> 0.05). However, the antigenaemia prevalence among the age groups differs, with ages 51-60 years having the highest prevalence among male and ages 41-50 years among female respectively (χ2=11.424, df 6, P<0.05). Chronic clinical manifestation observed include Hydrocoel (17.12%) and lymphoedema of limbs (20.08%). Female had significant proportion of those with lymphoedema (14.8%). The findings showed a high prevalence of the infection which is far above the World Health Organisation threshold level of ≥% prevalence as well as significant prevalence of clinical manifestations. Therefore integrated intervention programme is required in the study area.