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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

FRAIHA NETO, Habib. Bancroftian filariasis in Belém, Pará State: possibilities for eradication by introducing modern methods of control for Culex quinquefasciatus. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1993, vol.9, n.4, pp. 458-465. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1993000400006.

For the past four decades, Belém has been considered to be the largest focus of Bancroftian filariasis in the Amazon region and one of the most important ones in Brazil. In 1952, practically one-fifth of the population was infected and it was estimated that there were 2,500 cases of Bancroftian elephantiasis. The major factor considered to be responsible for this situation was the high density of the main vector species: it was calculated that in April 1943 there was a mean of 67 infected mosquitoes per house. A control campaign was initiated in 1952, involving treatment of patients with diethylcarbamazine, as well as control of the vector. In 1956, vector control was discontinued because of a lack of efficient insecticides and financial limitations. Even so, the campaign was very successful and the incidence was reduced from 19.9% to 0.03%. Total eradication could be achieved if new methods of vector control were introduced, such as the use of Reiter's expanded polystyrene balls in cesspits and pit latrines, biological control using pathogenic bacteria, and improvement of basic sanitation.

Keywords : Bancroftian filariasis; Culex quinquefasciatus; Vector Control; Amazonia.

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