Comparison Of Clinical, Parasitological And Serological Diagnostic Methods For The Definitive Diagnosis Of Onchocerciasis In Nsukka Senatorial Zone

  • P N Uzoegwu
  • G Aloh


Clinical, parasitological and serological diagnostic methods were compared for definitive diagnosis of human onchocerciasis in three endemic communities of Nkpologu, Ukpab and Obimo located at differing distances from the bank of Adada river in Nsukka i ; senatorial zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. The results revealed that 43.98%, 2.78%, 57.60% and 76.55% of the total number of volunteers tested were positive by most common and rare clinical symptoms, skin biopsy and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) respectively. Of those seropositive, 86.02% had microfiariae in their skin. Similarly, 67.28% and 91.91% of those who were positive by ELISA and skin bopsy respectively, displayed onchocercal nodules either on the head, trunk, groin, laps or nearthe knee. However, 96.76% of those with nodules had microfilariae in their skin. The results further showed that the incdence of onchocerciasis and wormburden in the three communities vary inversely with their respective distances from the river. Consideringthe relative significance of these methods in the diagnosis of onchocerciasis, we recommend the use of a combination of the most common clinical manifestations, skin biopsy and ELISA in the diagnosis of onchocerciasis, at least for epidemiological studies, until a single definitive diagnostic method is developed.

Keywords: Human onchocerciasis, Clinical symptoms, Skin biopsy, ELISA

Animal Research International Vol. 1 (3) 2004 pp. 181-189

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eISSN: 1597-3115