Relationship between Onchocerciasis and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Communities Endemic for Filariasis in South East Nigeria
AbstractObjective: To determine if there is a causal relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and clinical filariasis in individuals exposed to both infections.
Methods: An onchocerciasis endemic community in Imo State, South East Nigeria was screened and persons showing overt clinical signs of onchocerciasis were selected for further study. Blood samples of selected persons were examined for presence of different forms of Plasmodium falciparum.
Results: Of the 264 individuals [94 males (35%) and 170 females (65%)] 90 individuals (34.1%) had positive blood smears for Plasmodium falciparum. The association between the two parasitic infections although statistically significant does not seem to be causal.
Conclusion: Persons who are infected with onchocerciasis seem to also be at the risk of infection with Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
Key Words: Onchocerciasis, Endemicity, Malaria
Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.16(1) 2004: 23-25