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Loa loa microfilariae were found on thick blood smears (TBSs) from 8 of 300 (2.7%) residents of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, during a Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite malaria vaccine clinical trial. Only one subject was found to have microfilaraemia on his first exam; parasites were not discovered in the other seven until subsequent TBSs were performed, at times many weeks into the study. All infected individuals were asymptomatic, and were offered treatment with diethylcarbamazine, per national guidelines. L. loa microfilaraemia complicated the enrolment or continued participation of these eight trial subjects, and only one was able to complete all study procedures. If ruling out loiasis is deemed to be important during clinical trials, tests that are more sensitive than TBSs should be performed. © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Stephen R Manock, Vicente Urbano Nsue, Ally Olotu, Maximillian Mpina, Elizabeth Nyakarungu, José Raso, Ali Mtoro, Martín Eka Ondo Mangue, Beltrán Ekua Ntutumu Pasialo, Rufino Nguema, Pouria Riyahi, Tobias Schindler, Claudia Daubenberger, L W Preston Church, Peter F Billingsley, Thomas L Richie, Salim Abdulla, Stephen L Hoffman. The impact of Loa loa microfilaraemia on research subject retention during a whole sporozoite malaria vaccine trial in Equatorial Guinea. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2022 Aug 05;116(8):745-749

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PMID: 35394038

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