Figueredo-silva, J., Norões, J., Addiss, D., Dreyer, G.
SEX RATIO OF WUCHERERIA BANCROFTI IN SURGICAL SPECIMENS FROM AN ENDEMIC AREA OF BRAZIL.
Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology, Vol. 102, No. 3, 229–238 (2008).
The sex ratio of adult Wuchereria bancrofti from 172 histologically diagnosed cases of lymphatic filariasis, all from an endemic area of Recife , in north–eastern Brazil , was investigated. Of 172 tissue specimens examined, 74 (43%) were lymph nodes and 98 (57%) lymphatic-vessel segments. The morphology of the worms was generally disrupted, in some cases to the point where the worms were almost completely absorbed by the granulomatous inflammatory response. Parasite gender was clearly determined in only 110 (64%) specimens, 61 (55.5 %) of which were lymph nodes and 49 (44.5%) lymphatic vessels. Eighty-seven (79.1%) of these tissue specimens contained only female worms, 17 (14.5%) both males and females, and six only males, giving an overall female:male ‘specimen’ ratio of 4.5:1. Of the 63 tissue specimens in which dead or degenerating worms were noted, 60 (92.2%) contained only females. All the female worms detected were gravid, regardless of whether male worms were present in the specimen. The implications of these findings for parasite dynamics, the pathogenesis of bancroftian filariasis and the interpretation of ultrasound images of living adult worms are discussed.