Following the first triple-drug MDA for lymphatic filariasis in Samoa in 2018, unexpected persistence of Mf-positivity in 18 (15%) of 121 antigen-positive persons was observed in a nationwide household survey 1-2 months later, raising concerns about MDA efficacy. In 2019, a monitored treatment study was done before and 7 days after directly observed weight-based treatment. Mf presence and density were evaluated using 1 mL membrane filtered venous blood, and 60uL thick blood films on slides prepared from venous or fingerprick blood. All 14 participants were still Mf positive on filters from venous blood pre-treatment samples, but two were negative by slide made from the same samples. Mf were cleared completely by day 7 in 12 of 13 participants followed up, and by day 30 in the remaining participant. Filtered blood using EDTA samples (to reduce clumping of Mf) is preferred over slides alone for improving the likelihood of detecting Mf and estimating their density. The triple-drug MDA strategy was effective at clearing Mf by day 30 when given and taken at the correct dose.
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