Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
ROCHA, Eliana M. M. and FONTES, Gilberto. Bancroftian filariasis in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1998, vol.32, n.1, pp. 98-105. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101998000100015.
The past and present distribution of Bancroftian filariasis in Brazil is reviewed. Parasitological and entomological surveys were conducted between 1951 and 1958, the autochthonous transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti having been found only in 11 places in the country as follows, with the corresponding prevalences: Ponta Grossa (SC), 14.5%; Belém (PA), 9.8%; Barra de Laguna (SC), 9.4%; Recife (PE), 6.9%; Castro Alves (BA), 5.9%; Florianópolis (SC), 1.4%; São Luis (MA), 0.6%; Salvador (BA), 0.4%; Maceió (AL), 0.3%; Manaus (AM), 0.2% and Porto Alegre (RS), 0.1%. The distribution of infection was urban and focal, occurring mainly along the coast. Control measures carried out against filariasis achieved considerable success, reducing infection and transmission, only Belém and Recife being considered endemic areas. Recent studies show the active transmission of filariasis with higher prevalences than those observed in the past,in Maceió, considered to be free from infection, and in Recife. The knowledge of the present status of Bancroftian filariasis in Brazil is important as baseline information, because it will allow for the establishment of control measures by Public Health organizations.
Keywords : Filariasis; epidemiology; Wuchereria bancrofti.