Dracunculus medinensis (Guinea Worm Disease) Elimination and Eradication and the Challenges of Emerging Non-human Animal Hosts: A Review of the Literature

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M. O. Elom


The objective of the review is to update information on the recent state of the transmission of dracunculiasis. Dracunculiasis is an ancient debilitating disease that has been lingering among dwellers of rural communities in some neglected sub-tropical and tropical countries. The disease is transmitted through drinking water that has been infested with Cyclops, the intermediate host of D. medinensis. Guinea worm disease has neither medicine for cure nor vaccine for prevention but can be prevented using certain intervention strategies. Any person that lives in the affected localities and drinks from Cyclop-infested water bodies could be infected, irrespective of age, gender or social status. The disease cripples the economy of affected communities, as it reduces attendance to farm work and other occupations and renders students absent from schools, through incapacitation. Eradication of dracunculiasis has been targeted using health education, boiling of water before drinking, application of temephos (Abate) to drinking water sources, filtration of water before drinking and installation of boreholes for the endemic localities. Attempts for eradication of dracunculiasis had reached an impressive and significant level before the emergence of cases of non-human animal infections. This phenomenon has sustained transmission of the disease in a few African countries. Published articles in Pubmed, Medline, Google Scholar and DOAJ on Guinea worm elimination and eradication and those on animal infections with Guinea worm were reviewed using Google search engine between February and April 2020. Scale up of application of Abate to affected drinking water sources is recommended as the most reliable and sustainable intervention in highly neglected communities.

Animal hosts, dracunculiasis, elimination, eradication, literature

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How to Cite
Elom, M. O. (2020). Dracunculus medinensis (Guinea Worm Disease) Elimination and Eradication and the Challenges of Emerging Non-human Animal Hosts: A Review of the Literature. Asian Journal of Biology, 10(4), 39-48. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajob/2020/v10i430115
Systematic Review Article


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