Similar blackfly attraction by onchocerciasis patients and individuals putatively immune to Onchocerca volvulus

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Abstract

In areas endemic for onchocerciasis, a small number of individuals show no detectable infection with Onchocerca volvulus despite an apparently similar exposure to the transmitting blackflies. Such individuals have been termed putatively immune. Since several studies have indicated marked host differences in attractiveness for blood-seeking insects, putative immunity in O. volvulus infection may result, at least in part, from low vector attractiveness of the respective individuals. In an area hyperendemic for onchocerciasis (Guinea), where Simulium yahense is the predominant vector, we organized fly catches by putatively immune individuals and individuals with moderate-to-high worm counts. No differences were found between the 2 groups with respect to (i) the attraction of blackflies, (ii) the attraction of blackflies infected with O. volvulus, or (iii) the numbers of O. volvulus larvae carried by the attracted blackflies.

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Kruppa, T. F., & Burchard, G. D. (1999). Similar blackfly attraction by onchocerciasis patients and individuals putatively immune to Onchocerca volvulus. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 93(4), 365–367. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0035-9203(99)90117-7

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