A cross-sectional study of bancroftian filariasis was conducted in 2 adjacent communities, Mvumoni and Kilore in Muhaka, Kwale District. Wuchereria bancrofti infection, clinical manifestations and anti-filarial IgG responsiveness were determined before the long rains, a time coinciding with a low transmission season. The prevalence of microfilaraemia increased gradually with age and was significantly higher in Kilore (24%) than in Mvumoni (6·3%, P<0·001). Similarly, the prevalence of antigenaemia increased with age and also was significantly higher in Kilore, 48·9% than in Mvumoni, 20·5% (P<0·001). Hydrocele, funiculitis, lymphangitis and lymphadenitis were also significantly more common in Kilore than in Mvumoni. In comparing the 2 communities, levels of IgG4 responsiveness in antigen-positive persons were higher in Kilore than Mvumoni (P=0·034), but this was related to higher antigen loads in persons in Kilore than in Mvumoni. In antigen-negative persons, anti-filarial antibodies of 3 IgG isotypes were significantly higher in Kilore than Mvumoni (P<0·001, for IgG1, IgG2, IgG4). These results emphasize the highly focal nature of bancroftian filariasis in this setting and demonstrate that anti-filarial antibody levels are related to transmission intensity.
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