Assessment of lymphatic filariasis prior to re-starting mass drug administration campaigns in coastal Kenya.

Njenga, SM; Kanyi, HM; Mutungi, FM; Okoyo, C; Matendechero, HS; Pullan, RL; Halliday, KE; Brooker, SJ; Wamae, CN; Onsongo, JK; Won, KY; (2017) Assessment of lymphatic filariasis prior to re-starting mass drug administration campaigns in coastal Kenya. Parasit Vectors, 10 (1). p. 99. ISSN 1756-3305 DOI:

Text - Published Version

Download (622kB) | Preview


Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a debilitating disease associated with extensive disfigurement and is one of a diverse group of diseases referred to as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which mainly occur among the poorest populations. In line with global recommendations to eliminate LF, Kenya launched its LF elimination programme in 2002 with the aim to implement annual mass drug administration (MDA) in order to interrupt LF transmission. However, the programme faced financial and administrative challenges over the years such that sustained annual MDA was not possible. Recently, there has been renewed interest to eliminate LF and the Kenyan Ministry of Health, through support from World Health Organization (WHO), restarted annual MDA in 2015. The objective of this study was to evaluate the current status of LF infection in the endemic coastal region of Kenya before MDA campaigns were restarted. Ten sentinel sites in Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, and Taita-Taveta counties in coastal Kenya were selected for participation in a cross-sectional survey of LF infection prevalence. At least 300 individuals in each sentinel village were sampled through random house-to-house visits. During the day, the point-of-care immunochromatographic test (ICT) was used to detect the presence of Wuchereria bancrofti circulating filarial antigen in finger prick blood samples collected from residents of the selected sentinel villages. Those individuals who tested positive with the ICT test were requested to provide a night-time blood sample for microfilariae (MF) examination. The overall prevalence of filarial antigenaemia was 1.3% (95% CI: 0.9-1.8%). Ndau Island in Lamu County had the highest prevalence (6.3%; 95% CI: 4.1-9.7%), whereas sites in Kilifi and Kwale counties had prevalences < 1.7%. Mean microfilarial density was also higher in Ndau Island (234 MF/ml) compared to sentinel sites in Kwale and Kilifi counties (< 25 MF/ml). No LF infection was detected in Tana River and Taita-Taveta counties. Overall, more than 88% of the study participants reported to have used a bed net the previous night. Prevalence of LF infection is generally very low in coastal Kenya, but there remain areas that require further rounds of MDA if the disease is to be eliminated as a public health problem in line with the ongoing global elimination efforts. However, areas where there was no evidence of LF transmission should be considered for WHO-recommended transmission assessment surveys in view of stopping MDA.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Neglected Tropical Diseases Network
PubMed ID: 28228160
Web of Science ID: 396333800001


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item