The dynamics of the transmission of subperiodic Brugia malayi in a typical endemic area in Malaysia was studied over a period of 4 years. Mass chemotherapeutic control with diethylcarbamazine citrate was found to be inefficient, new cases being detected even after the fifth treatment cycle of 6 mg/kg X 6 days per cycle. This is in marked contrast to the situation in periodic b. malayi areas where mass treatment efficiently controlled the infection. The disparity in results in these two areas is attributed to zoonotic transmission of subperiodic B. malayi from non-human primates where a mean infection rate of 76.3% was found.
A study was carried out to identify some of the cultural factors in the epidemiology of filariasis in an endemic community in Malaysia. The viewpoint of the community, data an responses on knowledge of illness and filariasis, host related factors, health examination, vector study were analysed and discussed. The observations noted on cultural factors were: Occupational pattern: Different agricultural occupations seemed to related to transmission in terms of body exposure. Activities not related to production of crops: Play groups in late afternoon, bathing of household members near and after sunset, congregations at prayer houses very much exposed the population to mosquito bites in different degree in terms of length of time spent outside the house. Knowledge of filariasis: Filariasis was understood in terms of elephantiasis, the chronic stage of the disease. Other signs of disease-adenolymphangitis, red lines running down one or both legs and abscess were generally recognized but not often annonated with specific disease. Attitude toward disease: Filariasis was not seen as a health problem and the idea of filarial worms was still hard to believe. Knowledge on disease causation: Biological causes were generally recognized, though the idea of bacteria was not widespread.
Human filariasis caused by Brugia malayi is still a public health problem in many countries of Asia including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted to eliminate filariasis by the year 2020 by Mass annual single dose Diethylcarbamazine Administration (MDA). Results of the MDA programme after the first phase was less satisfactory than expected. Malayan filariasis caused by B. malayi is endemic in the south of Thailand where domestic cat serves as the major reservoir host. There is no report about the occurrence of B. malayi in dogs. The present work was carried out to find out the incidence of microfilariasis in dogs and also to detect the presence of human filarial infection in dogs, if any. One hundred dogs above 6 months of age presented to the veterinary college Hospital, Mannuthy, Kerala, with clinical signs suggestive of microfilariasis - fever, anorexia, conjunctivitis, limb and scrotal oedema - were screened for microfilariae by wet film examination. Positive cases were subjected to Giemsa staining, histochemical staining and molecular techniques. Results of the study showed that 80% of dogs had microfilariasis; out of which 20% had sheathed microfilaria. Giemsa and histochemical staining character, PCR and sequencing confirmed it as B. malayi. High prevalence of B. malayi in dogs in this study emphasized the possible role of dogs in transmission of human filariasis.
About two-thirds (67.6%) of 142 Ibans (from birth to 90 years of age) from 26 house-holds in a longhouse in Nanga Atoi in the Second Division of Sarawak were infected with intestinal parasites. The more common helmintic infections were hookworms (47.2%) and Trichuris trichiura (43.0%). Intestinal protozoan infections were less common. Single helmintic infections were more common than multiple infections and the commonest type of multiple infections was Trichuris mixed with hookworms. Malaria and filariasis were not reported among these inhabitants surveyed.
A study to identify the knowledge of infected and uninfected respondents on filariasis and epidemiologic factors in one endemic community in Malaysia to determine their role in the transmission and control of filariasis was carried out. The data were collected by non-participant observations and interviews using semi-structured schedules. The majority of respondents in both groups had knowledge of filariasis. There was no marked difference between male and female respondents, and similarly, there was fair distributions of knowledgeable respondents with and without some years of schooling. On filarial transmission, 9.2% of the infected said that filariasis was contacted through mosquito bites, while among the uninfected it was 7.4%. Within the infected, 14.8% thought that filarial worms entered the human body through the consumption of unhygenically prepared foods and drinks while, among the uninfected it was 20.4%. Both groups were aware of the presence of mosquitoes in their village. However, the majority did not associate this factor with host's susceptibility to filarial infections. Rather, they were of the opinion that personal hygiene and proper meals had something to do with filariasis. The findings showed there was general awareness of filariasis in the community which might indicate that the health campaigns had reached various levels of the population. Yet, they still lacked knowledge on disease transmission. Also, they did not make direct association between environment and exposure to mosquitoes bites though they were aware of their presence but which they regarded as not directly harmful to their health.