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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(3):e2133. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002133. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Interruption of transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in the Southern Chiapas Focus, México.

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  • 1Centro de Biotecnología Genómica, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México.



The Southern Chiapas focus of onchocerciasis in Southern Mexico represents one of the major onchocerciasis foci in Latin America. All 559 endemic communities of this focus have undergone semi-annual mass treatment with ivermectin since 1998. In 50 communities of this focus, ivermectin frequency shifted from twice to four times a year in 2003; an additional 113 communities were added to the quarterly treatment regimen in 2009 to achieve a rapid suppression of transmission.


In-depth epidemiologic and entomologic assessments were performed in six sentinel communities (which had undergone 2 rounds of ivermectin treatment per year) and three extra-sentinel communities (which had undergone 4 rounds of ivermectin treatment per year). None of the 67,924 Simulium ochraceum s.l. collected from this focus during the dry season of 2011 were found to contain parasite DNA when tested by polymerase chain reaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (PCR-ELISA), resulting in an upper bound of the 95% confidence interval (95%-ULCI) of the infective rate in the vectors of 0.06/2,000 flies examined. Serological assays testing for Onchocerca volvulus exposure conducted on 4,230 children 5 years of age and under (of a total population of 10,280 in this age group) revealed that 2/4,230 individuals were exposed to O. volvulus (0.05%; one sided 95% confidence interval = 0.08%).


The in-depth epidemiological and entomological findings from the Southern Chiapas focus meet the criteria for interruption of transmission developed by the international community.

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