Unit Head’s Report
The research station “IMTH” (Institut de Médecine Tropicale de
Hambourg) of the Bernhard Nocht Institute continued successfully its research
work in Macenta, Guinea, for the second year. The work was supported by
the Ministry of Health (MS) and the Direction Préfectoral de la
Santé (DPS), Macenta. The Institute collaborated with the General
Hospital of Macenta, the National Onchocerciasis Control Programme and
the Mission Hospital of Philafricaine. The project appreciated the valuable
logistic support of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
Laboratory building, Macenta, Guinea
The program of IMTH focussed mainly on onchocerciasis. The human immune
response toward Onchocerca volvulus was investigated and relevant parasite
antigens were characterized. T-cell as well as effector cell studies were
performed and antigens of adult worms and microfilariae recovered.
Surveys were conducted in eight villages hyperendemic for onchocerciasis.
A total of 1872 persons were examined. The prevalence in the eight villages
was between 62% and 92%. 510 patients underwent nodulectomy. 2324 onchocercomata
were removed. Mass treatments were conducted in these villages following
The survey on the prevalence of Wuchereria bancrofti and other human
filariae was done in cooperation with the General Hospital of Macenta.
In 50 blood samples of persons from Macenta district no microfilariae were
The follow-up study on the prevalence of Lassa fever was conducted
in the Guéckédou district in cooperation with the General
Hospital of Guéckédou.
Furthermore entomological studies were performed to evaluate the transmission
of onchocerciasis throughout the year. Three catching sites were chosen
at the Makona, Loffa and Diani rivers.
The field trip to Ghana starting from Macenta aimed at gaining data
of onchocerciasis in the south west of the country. This study was made
possible through generous support of the Medical Faculty of the University
of Science and Technology (UST), Kumasi.
The villages of Ashanti and Central Region were investigated complying
the rapid assessment method. In the vicinity of Kumasi hypo- and mesoendemic
villages were identified. The villages studied in the forest area of Central
Region were hyperendemic with prevalences up to 100%. Entomological investigations
revealed 20% blackflies of the Simulium sanctipauli subcomplex in all catches
done. 20% of these blackflies were found to be infected with L3 O. volvulus