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Evaluation of a single oral dose of diethylcarbamazine 300 mg as provocative test and simultaneous treatment in Myanmar migrant workers with Wuchereria bancrofti infection in Thailand.

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  • 1Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


We assessed the efficiency of oral diethylcarbamazine (DEC) 300 mg as a provocative test on blood examination 30 minutes after administration, while gauging the overall infection rate in Myanmar migrant workers with Wuchereria bancrofti infection who enrolled for work permits in Thailand in 2002, using circulating filarial antigens (CFA) assays, the NOW ICT Filariasis card test and the Og4C3 ELISA as reference. Overall infection rates of 0.3% (95% CI=0-0.7%), 4.2% (95% CI=1.8-6.5%) and 5.9% (95% CI=3.2-8.7%) by three diagnostic tests, respectively, were observed. Among three different location groups of Myanmar population sample tested, there were no statistically significant differences in the overall infection detection rates. When either the ICT card test or the Og4C3 ELISA was used as a reference, the specificity and positive predictive value of the DEC-provocative day test was the same, 100%. The sensitivities were 25.0% (95% CI = 0.5-49.5%) and 17.6% (95% CI = 0-35.8%) on the ICT and ELISA tests, respectively. The negative predictive values were 96.8% (95% CI = 94.8-98.9%) and 95.1% (95% CI = 92.6-97.6%), respectively. In three microfilaremic persons followed-up monitored at 8-weeks DEC post-provocation, there were 6 x 10(-1) and 7 x 10(-1) decreases in microfilaremia and antigenemia. These findings suggested that, unlike the CFA assays, the DEC-provocative day test is unsuitable for the diagnosis of active W. bancrofti infection in the population tested, and for gauging current infection prevalence. The treatment would likely be beneficial to reduce microfilaremia and antigenemia.

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