Prevalence of lymphatic filariasis in a tribal area of Maharashtra.
Background: About 304 million persons are living in the known endemic areas and are exposed to the risk of filariasis. About 22 million persons are harboring microfilaria in their blood and 16 million persons show clinical manifestations. The objective of the study was to study the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis in a tribal area. Methods: A community based cross sectional study was carried out. Night blood smears were obtained between 9-11.30 pm by finger prick method and thick smears were prepared and usual staining procedure was performed. 451 people out of (enumerated) 565 could be covered excluding infants. Diethyl carbamazine (DEC) provocative test was performed the next day by administering 100 mg DEC orally and collecting blood sample after one hour with usual method. DEC could be administered to only 200 individuals in spite of utmost efforts to ensure cooperation. Results: Out of 451 persons examined, 20 (4.4%) were showing clinical manifestations. Overall microfilaria rate was 14.4%. Total endemicity rate was 17.3%. The lowest number of microfilaria was seen in 5 in 20 cumm of blood while the highest count was 78 in the 20 cumm of the blood. 13 smears (20%) showed that microfilaria count was in the range of 41-50. Maximum average infestation rate was 33.3 per 20 cumm of the blood. The most prominent clinical manifestation seen was hydrocele in males constituting 35% of the total clinical cases. Conclusions: The prevalence of filariasis in this tribal area was high. Mf rate was 14.4%. Endemicity rate was 17.3%. Hydrocele was the commonest clinical manifestation.