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Epidemiology and vectors of Dracunculus medinensis in northwest Burkina Faso, West Africa


, : Epidemiology and vectors of Dracunculus medinensis in northwest Burkina Faso, West Africa. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 82(2): 189-199

The epidemiology of the guinea worm, Dracunculus medinensis, was studied in the dry savanna zone of West Africa. The monthly incidence data collected over a period of four years showed peak transmission occurring in June and July at the beginning of the rainy season. The different types of local water sources (i.e., wells, periodic streams, seasonal cattle waterings, natural ponds and man-made ponds) were examined for infected cylopoid copepods. Small hand-dug ponds or water-holes situated in the fields proved to be the most important sites of transmission. While the domestic water supply is obtained from draw-wells in the villages throughout the year, the villagers take additional drinking water from these ponds during the planting season when farm activities require long stays in the fields. Four cyclopoid species were found for the first time acting as natural intermediate hosts of D. medinensis. Thermocyclops inopinus was the most frequently infected cyclopoid, and small man-made ponds are the preferred habitats of this species. Occurrence of T. inopinus is confined to the first half of the rainy season, coinciding with peak transmission. The epidemiology of dracunculiasis in dry and humid regions of West Africa is compared with regard to seasonality. The use of protective water filters proved to be the only adequate method for guinea worm control in the project area.

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Accession: 005375830

PMID: 2972263

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