The peculiar epidemiology of dracunculiasis in Chad

Mark L. Eberhard, Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, Donald R. Hopkins, Corey Farrell, Fernand Toe, Adam Weiss, P. Craig Withers, M. Harley Jenks, Elizabeth A. Thiele, James A. Cotton, Zahra Hance, Nancy Holroyd, Vitaliano A. Cama, Mahamat Ali Tahir, Tchonfienet Mounda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Dracunculiasis was rediscovered in Chad in 2010 after an apparent absence of 10 years. In April 2012 active village-based surveillance was initiated to determine where, when, and how transmission of the disease was occurring, and to implement interventions to interrupt it. The current epidemiologic pattern of the disease in Chad is unlike that seen previously in Chad or other endemic countries, i.e., no clustering of cases by village or association with a common water source, the average number of worms per person was small, and a large number of dogs were found to be infected. Molecular sequencing suggests these infections were all caused by Dracunculus medinensis. It appears that the infection in dogs is serving as the major driving force sustaining transmission in Chad, that an aberrant life cycle involving a paratenic host common to people and dogs is occurring, and that the cases in humans are sporadic and incidental.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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