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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


KUMAR, V et al. Vector density and the control of kala-azar in Bihar, India. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2009, vol.104, n.7, pp.1019-1022. ISSN 0074-0276.

Bihar, India has been in the grip of kala-azar for many years. Its rampant and severe spread has made life miserable in most parts of the state. Such conditions require a comprehensive understanding of this affliction. The numbers coming out of the districts prone to the disease in the north and south Ganges have provided us with several startling revelations, as there are striking uniformities on both sides, including similar vegetation, water storage facilities, house construction and little change in risk factors. The northern areas have been regularly sprayed with DDT since 1977, but eradication of the disease appears to be a distant dream. In 2007 alone, there were as many as 37,738 cases in that region. In contrast, the southern districts of Patna and Nalanda have never had the disease in its epidemic form and endemic disease has been present in only some pockets of the two districts. In those cases, two rounds of spraying with DDT had very positive results, with successful control and no new established foci. In addition, an eleven-year longitudinal study of the man hour density and house index for the vector Phlebotomus argentipes demonstrated that they were quite high in Patna and Nalanda and quite low in north Bihar. Given these facts, an attempt has been made to unravel the role of P. argentipes saliva (salivary gland) in the epidemiology of kala-azar. It was determined that patchy DDT spraying should be avoided for effective control of kala-azar.

Keywords : Phlebotomus argentipes; DDT; salivary gland; house index; man hour density.

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