Mansonella perstans filariasis in Africa
Simonsen, Paul E.
Onapa, Ambrose W.
Asio, Santa Maria
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Mansonella perstans is a vector-borne human filarial nematode, transmitted by tiny blood-sucking flies (biting midges). It is widespread in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and also occurs in parts of Central and South America. Despite the commonness of this parasite very few studies have been carried out on its epidemiology and on the morbidity resulting from it, and only few thorough drug trials have been conducted to look for effective and suitable drugs and drug regimens for treatment and control. Here, we review currently available knowledge on M. perstans infections in Africa, including documented aspects of biology, vectors, transmission, diagnosis, epidemiology, morbidity and treatment. It is concluded that there is an urgent need for more research on this widespread but greatly neglected infection in order to properly assess its public health significance and as a background for identifying and recommending optimal means and strategies for treatment and control.