Prevalence of Mansonella perstans infections among the nomadic Fulanis of northernNigeria.
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Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2005;12(1):35–38
The study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence and clinical manifestations of Mansonella perstans infection in the nomadic Fulanis of northern Nigeria. Physical examination of 755 consenting nomads for clinical manifestations of M. perstans infection was carried out between June 1996–September 2000. This was followed by parasitological examination of blood samples collected by finger prick method to identify microfilariae (mf). Data collected was stratified by locality, age and sex, and analyzed using the Chi-square test. Overall, 66 (8.7%) of 755 nomads were infected. Infection was higher in men (9.7%) than in women (6.5%) (p<0.05) and occurred in all age groups with highest prevalence in persons in the 4th (14.1%) and 5th (17.1%) decades of life. Fifty-six (81.8%) of the 66 nomads with mf had clinical manifestations with periodic dizziness (18.2%), body itching (15.2%) was the most prevalent while back pain (7.6%) was the least. The findings show that mansonelliasis is an important health problem in nomads. This underscores the need to establish a well-articulated Filariasis Control Programme for this group whose major health problems are rooted in their occupation and amplified by several contingencies of the environment.