Efficiency of Simulium sanctipauli as a vector of Onchocerca volvulus in the forest zone of Ghana
Kutin, K.; Kruppa, T.F.; Brenya, R.; Garms, R.
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 18(2): 167-173
The role of Simulium sanctipauli Vajime & Dunbar (Diptera: Simuliidae) as a vector of Onchocerca volvulus (Leuckart) (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) in the forest zone of central Ghana was studied in the Upper Denkyira district, where onchocerciasis is hyperendemic. Simulium sanctipauli was found to be a highly efficient vector, with a mean of 377 infective (L3) larvae in the heads of 1000 parous and 122 in the heads of 1000 biting flies. The overall infection rate of 44% of the parous flies with L1, L2 and L3 stages of O. volvulus (identity confirmed by polymerase chain reaction) demonstrates marked anthropophily. Female flies dispersed over a wide area and can transmit onchocerciasis up to at least 10 km away from their breeding sites. Annual community-directed treatments with ivermectin did not have a noticeable effect on the infection rates and parasitic loads of fly populations, which were as high 2 months after as 3 months before the distribution of ivermectin. This failure can be attributed to poor coverage, with treatment taken by only 24.4% of the population of the six study villages.