Evaluation of Community-Directed Operation of Black Fly Traps for Entomological Surveillance of Onchocerca volvulus Transmission in the Madi-Mid North Focus of Onchocerciasis in Northern Uganda.
ABSTRACT: Entomological measures of transmission are important metrics specified by the World Health Organization to document the suppression and interruption of transmission of Onchocerca volvulus, the causative agent of onchocerciasis. These metrics require testing of large numbers of vector black flies. Black fly collection has relied on human landing collections, which are inefficient and potentially hazardous. As the focus of the international community has shifted from onchocerciasis control to elimination, replacement of human landing collections has become a priority. The Esperanza window trap (EWT) has shown promise as an alternative method for collection of Simulium damnosum s.l., the primary vector of O. volvulus in Africa. Here, we report the results of a community-based trial of the EWT in northern Uganda. Traps operated by residents were compared with human landing collections in two communities over 5 months. Three traps, when operated by a single village resident, collected over four times as many S. damnosum as did the two-men collection team. No significant differences were noted among the bait formulations. The results suggest that EWTs may be effectively operated by community residents and that the trap represents a viable alternative to human landing collections for entomological surveillance of O. volvulus transmission.
Project description:There is an increasing need to evaluate the impact of chemotherapeutic and vector-based interventions as onchocerciasis affected countries work towards eliminating the disease. The Esperanza Window Trap (EWT) provides a possible alternative to human landing collections (HLCs) for the collection of anthropophilic blackflies, yet it is not known whether current designs will prove effective for onchocerciasis vectors throughout sub-Saharan Africa. EWTs were deployed for 41 days in northern Uganda and south eastern Tanzania where different Simulium damnosum sibling species are responsible for disease transmission. The relative efficacy of EWTs and HLCs was compared, and responses of host-seeking blackflies to odour baits, colours, and yeast-produced CO2 were investigated. Blue EWTs baited with CO2 and worn socks collected 42.3% (2,393) of the total S. damnosum s.l. catch in northern Uganda. Numbers were comparable with those collected by HLCs (32.1%, 1,817), and higher than those collected on traps baited with CO2 and BG-Lure (25.6%, 1,446), a synthetic human attractant. Traps performed less well for the collection of S. damnosum s.l. in Tanzania where HLCs (72.5%, 2,432) consistently outperformed both blue (16.8%, 563) and black (10.7%, 360) traps baited with CO2 and worn socks. HLCs (72.3%, 361) also outperformed sock-baited (6.4%, 32) and BG-Lure-baited (21.2%, 106) traps for the collection of anthropophilic Simulium bovis in northern Uganda. Contrasting blackfly distributions were observed on traps in Uganda and Tanzania, indicating differences in behaviour in each area. The success of EWT collections of S. damnosum s.l. in northern Uganda was not replicated in Tanzania, or for the collection of anthropophilic S. bovis. Further research to improve the understanding of behavioural responses of vector sibling species to traps and their attractants should be encouraged.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, has historically been an important cause of blindness, skin disease and economic disruption in Africa and the Americas. It is caused by the filarial parasite Onchocerca volvulus, which is transmitted by black flies in the genus Simulium. Over the past decade, several international programs have been formed to control, or more recently eliminate onchocerciasis, using mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin. However, in many areas of Africa (particularly those which are endemic for the eyeworm, Loa loa, or where vector densities are very high) ivermectin MDA alone will not be sufficient to achieve elimination. In these situations, additional interventions may be necessary. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:The Esperanza Window trap (EWT), a simple trap originally developed to replace human landing collections for entomological surveillance of O. volvulus transmission was optimized, resulting in a 17-fold improvement in trap performance. The optimized trap was tested in trials in schools and in agricultural fields to determine if it could reduce vector biting locally. The traps resulted in a 90% reduction in biting in the school setting. In the field setting, results varied. In one location, the traps reduced biting by roughly 50%, while in a separate trial, the traps did not significantly reduce the biting rate. Examination of the two settings suggested that trap placement may be critical to their success. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:These results suggest that the optimized EWT might be capable of reducing local vector black fly biting in areas commonly frequented by residents. Together with other recently developed methods of community directed vector control, the traps may augment ivermectin MDA, bringing the goal of onchocerciasis elimination within reach in much of Africa.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human landing collections are currently the standard method for collecting onchocerciasis vectors in Africa and Latin America. As part of the efforts to develop a trap to replace human landing collections for the monitoring and surveillance of onchocerciasis transmission, comprehensive evaluations of several trap types were conducted to assess their ability to collect Simulium ochraceum sensu lato, one of the principal vectors of Onchocerca volvulus in Latin America.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Diverse trap designs with numerous modifications and bait variations were evaluated for their abilities to collect S. Ochraceum s.l. females. These traps targeted mostly host seeking flies. A novel trap dubbed the "Esperanza window trap" showed particular promise over other designs. When baited with CO2 and BG-lure (a synthetic blend of human odor components) a pair of Esperanza window traps collected numbers of S. Ochraceum s.l. females similar to those collected by a team of vector collectors.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The Esperanza window trap, when baited with chemical lures and CO2 can be used to collect epidemiologically significant numbers of Simulium ochraceum s.l., potentially serving as a replacement for human landing collections for evaluation of the transmission of O. volvulus.
Project description:Mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin has become the main intervention to control onchocerciasis or "river blindness". In Togo, after many years of MDA, Onchocerca volvulus infection has declined dramatically, and elimination appears achievable, but in certain river basins the current situation remains unknown. We have conducted parasitological, serological, ophthalmological, and entomological assessments in northern and central Togo within the river basins of Ôti, Kéran and Mô.Examinations were completed in 1,455 participants from 11 onchocerciasis sentinel villages, and O. volvulus transmission by Simulium damnosum sensu lato (s.l.) was evaluated. In children (aged 1-10 years), the prevalence of microfilariae (Mf) was 2.3% and in adults it ranged from 5.1 to 13.3%. Positive IgG4 responses to O. volvulus adult (crude) worm antigen (OvAg) and the recombinant Ov16 antigen were in all-ages 48.7% and 34.4%, and 29.1% and 14.9% in children, respectively. In the river basin villages of Kéran, Mô and Ôti, the IgG4 seroprevalences to OvAg in children were 51.7%, 23.5% and 12.7%, respectively, and to the Ov16 antigen 33.3% (Kéran) and 5.2% (Ôti). Onchocerciasis ocular lesions (punctate keratitis, evolving iridocyclitis and chorioretinitis) were observed in children and young adults. O. volvulus-specific DNA (Ov150) was detected by poolscreen in vector samples collected from Tchitchira/Kéran(22.8%), Bouzalo/Mô(11.3%), Baghan/Mô(2.9%) and Pancerys/Ôti(4.9%); prevalences of O. volvulus infection in S. damnosum s.l. were, respectively, 1%, 0.5%, 0.1% and 0.2%.In the northern and central river basins in Togo, interruption of O. volvulus transmission has not yet been attained. Patent O. volvulus infections, positive antibody responses, progressive ocular onchocerciasis were diagnosed, and parasite transmission by S. damnosum s.l. occurred close to the survey locations. Future interventions may require approaches selectively targeted to non-complying endemic populations, to the seasonality of parasite transmission and national onchocerciasis control programs should harmonize cross-border MDA as a coordinated intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The impact of large scale Mass Drug Adminstration (MDA) of ivermectin on active onchocerciasis transmission by Simulium damnosum, which transmits the parasite O. volvulus is of great importance for onchocerciasis control programmes. We investigated in the Mbam river system area, the impact of MDA of ivermectin on entomological indices and also verify if there are river system factors that could have favoured the transmission of onchocerciasis in this area and contribute to the persistence of disease. We compared three independent techniques to detect Onchocerca larvae in blackflies and also analyzed the river system within 9 months post-MDA of ivermectin.<h4>Method</h4>Simulium flies were captured before and after 1, 3, 6 and 9months of ivermectin-MDA. The biting rate was determined and 41% of the flies dissected while the rest were grouped into pools of 100 flies for DNA extraction. The extracted DNA was then subjected to O-150 LAMP and real-time PCR for the detection of infection by Onchocerca species using pool screening. The river system was analysed and the water discharge compared between rainy and dry seasons.<h4>Principal findings</h4>We used human landing collection method (previously called human bait) to collect 22,274 adult female Simulium flies from Mbam River System. Of this number, 9,134 were dissected while 129 pools constituted for molecular screening. Overall biting and parous rates of 1113 flies/man/day and 24.7%, respectively, were observed. All diagnostic techniques detected similar rates of O. volvulus infection (P = 0.9252) and infectivity (P = 0.4825) at all monitoring time points. Onchocerca ochengi larvae were only detected in 2 of the 129 pools. Analysis of the river drainage revealed two hydroelectric dams constructed on the tributaries of the Mbam river were the key contributing factor to the high-water discharge during both rainy and dry seasons.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Results from fly dissection (Microscopy), real-time PCR and LAMP revealed the same trends pre- and post-MDA. The infection rate with animal Onchocerca sp was exceptionally low. The dense river system generate important breeding sites that govern the abundance of Simulium during both dry and rainy seasons.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Esperanza Window Trap (EWT) baited with CO2 and human sweat compounds is attractive to Simulium ochraceum s.l., the primary vector of Onchocerca volvulus in the historically largest endemic foci in México and Guatemala.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>The ability of the EWT to locally reduce numbers of questing S. ochraceum s.l. was evaluated in two formerly onchocerciasis endemic communities in Southern México. At each community, two EWTs were placed in or near a school or household and flies were collected sequentially for a total of 10 days. Black fly collections were then carried out for an additional 10 days in the absence of the EWTs. Flies were also collected outside the dwellings to control for variations in the local fly populations. When the EWTs were present, there was a significant reduction in the human biting rate at both the household and school locations at collection sites, with a greater effect observed in the schools.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These results indicate that the EWTs not only have potential as a black fly monitoring tool but may be used for reducing personal exposure to fly bites in Mesoamerica.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Massangam health district (HD), in the West Region of Cameroon, has received ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) for 20 years, however there is evidence of continued high transmission of Onchocerca volvulus. In order to better understand the transmission dynamics in the HD and inform intervention strategies there is a need to delineate the boundaries of the suspected area of high transmission within the wider transmission zone. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Parasitological and entomological surveys were conducted to map out the breeding sites of Simulium damnosum and evaluate the prevalence of onchocerciasis in neighbouring communities, including Makouopsap sentinel community. Potential rapids were prospected for identification of S. damnosum larvae and black flies collected to determine infectivity rates. Adults were assessed for the presence of O. volvulus microfilariae through a skin snip biopsy and examined for the presence of nodules. Anti Ov-16 antibodies were tested for in children. Four perennial breeding sites were identified on the Rivers Mbam and Nja. Large number of flies were collected along the River Mbam, especially in the rainy season, with up to 955 flies per day, suggesting this river is a perennial source of black flies. A total of 0.8% of parous flies were infective across the study area. Parasitological studies provided evidence of high rates of infection in the sentinel community and three neighbouring communities, with 37.1% of adults microfilariae positive in Makouopsap. High Ov-16 seropositivity in children also provided evidence of recent on-going transmission. In comparison, communities sampled further away from the sentinel community and neighbouring breeding sites were much closer to reaching onchocerciasis elimination targets. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This study provides evidence of a particular geographic area of high transmission in an approximate 12 km range around the sentinel community of Makouopsap and the neighbouring breeding sites on the River Nja. To eliminate onchocerciasis by 2025, there is a need to explore alternative intervention strategies in this area of high transmission.
Project description:Few studies have documented the interruption of onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) by integrated chemotherapy in Uganda. The study describes the interruption of transmission of the two diseases co-endemic in Obongi focus, north western Uganda. Base line data for Onchocerciasis and LF were collected in 1994 and 2006, respectively. Annual mass drug administration for onchocerciasis (Ivermectin) and Lymphatic Filariasis (Ivermectin + albendazole) was conducted for 20 and 6 years, respectively. Thereafter, assessments by skin snip, larval searches in rivers and human landing catches were performed. Children <10 years were screened for IgG4 antibodies using Ov16 ELISA technique in 2013. LF Pre-TAS and TAS1 were conducted in sentinel sites. ITN coverage and utilization for the implementation unit was also reported.Onchocerciasis treatment coverage was <80% but improved with the introduction of CDTI in 1999. While for LF, effective coverage of >65% was achieved in the six treatment rounds. Household ownership of ITN's and utilization was 96% and 72.4%., respectively.Parasitological examinations conducted for onchocerciasis among 807 adults and children, revealed a reduction in mf prevalence from 58% in 1994 to 0% in 2012. Entomological monitoring conducted at the two sites had no single Simulium damnosum fly caught. Serological analysis using Ov16 ELISA for onchocerciasis revealed that out of the 3,308 children <10 years old screened in 2013, only 3/3308 (0.091%) positive cases were detected. All Ov16 positive children were negative when tested for patent infection by skin snip PCR. A reduction in LF microfilaria prevalence from 2.5% (n = 13/522) in 2006 to 0.0% (n = 602) in 2014 was observed. LF TAS1 conducted in 2015 among 1,532 children 6-7 years, all were negative for antigens of W. bancrofti.The results concluded that interruption of onchocerciasis and LF has been achieved.
Project description:Simulium damnosum sensu lato (s.l.) blackflies transmit Onchocerca volvulus, a filarial nematode that causes human onchocerciasis. Human landing catches (HLCs) is currently the sole method used to estimate blackfly biting rates but is labour-intensive and questionable on ethical grounds. A potential alternative is to measure host antibodies to vector saliva deposited during bloodfeeding. In this study, the salivary proteome of S. damnosum s.l. was investigated. Blackflies were collected in Ghana by HLCs and dissected to extract their salivary glands. Salivary proteins were separated by gel-electrophoresis, and antigenic proteins visualized by immunoblot. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) was performed to characterize the proteome of S. damnosum s.l. salivary glands. Several antigenic proteins were recognized, with the major ones located around 15 and 40 kDa. LC–MS/MS identified the presence of antigen 5-related protein, apyrase/nucleotidase, and hyaluronidase.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Onchocerciasis transmission across international borders is not uncommon, yet a coordinated cross border stops mass drug administration (MDA) decision has not been documented. METHODS/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS:The Galabat-Metema focus involves neighboring districts on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. Mass drug administration (MDA) was provided once and subsequently twice per year in this focus, with twice-per-year beginning in Ethiopia's Metema subfocus in 2016 and in the Sudan's Galabat subfocus in 2008. Ov16 ELISA-based serosurveys were conducted in 6072 children under 10 years of age in the Metema subfocus in 2014, and 3931 in the Galabat in 2015. Between 2014 and 2016, a total of 27,583 vector Simulium damnosum flies from Metema and 9,148 flies from Galabat were tested by pool screen PCR for Onchocerca volvulus O-150 DNA. Only 8 children were Ov16 seropositive (all in the Metema subfocus); all were negative by skin snip PCR. The upper limit of the 95% confidence interval (UCL) for Ov16 seropositive was <0.1% for the overall focus and 0.14 positive fly heads per 2000 (UCL = 0.39/2000). However, an entomological 'hotspot' was detected on the Wudi Gemzu river in Metema district. The hotspot was confirmed when 4 more positive fly pools were found on repeat testing in 2017 (1.04 L3/2000 flies (UCL = 2.26/2000). Information exchange between the two countries led to stopping MDA in a coordinated fashion in 2018, with the exception of the hotspot at Wudi Gemzu, where MDA with ivermectin was increased to every three months to hasten interruption of transmission. CONCLUSION:Coordinated stop MDA decisions were made by Sudan and Ethiopia based on data satisfying the World Health Organization's criteria for interruption of onchocerciasis transmission. Definitions of entomological 'hotspots' and buffer zones around the focus are proposed.