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Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the Pacific - A PacELF success

Edited by Masahiro Hashizume and Peter Wood.

New Content ItemThis special issue of Tropical Medicine and Health has been produced and published to record and celebrate the successes of PacELF - the Pacific Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. PacELF was designed as a regional programme driven by the 22 island countries and territories in the Pacific for the sole purpose of eliminating lymphatic filariasis (LF). These countries have a wide range of transmission intensity and mosquito vectors. The main strategy for achieving this goal is annual mass drug administration (MDA) using diethylcarbamazine (DEC) with albendazole to stop transmission, together with clinical management of infections to minimize progression of pathology in individuals already infected.

At the start of PacELF, 16 of the 22 Pacific countries and territories were classified as LF endemic. Mass drug administration (MDA) has been conducted in all endemic countries, with the first starting in 1999. Many countries completed MDA in the mid-2000s, although some are continuing to the present day. The following have received validation of elimination by 2017: Cook Islands, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Several other countries are close to this achievement. Problems and challenges for some countries include delay in rapidly and completely scaling-up interventions, the possibility of resurgence from remaining LF hotspots of transmission, and the difficulty of ensuring that those with residual chronic morbidity are provided with quality services. 

To celebrate PacELF and the countries’ achievements in LF elimination, this special issue provides an overview and bibliography of LF in the Pacific, and reports on the progress towards elimination in selected countries. We hope that these success stories will be an inspiration to the other regions of the world that are also engaged in this effort.

These publications were supported by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through NTD SC, a program of The Task Force for Global Health, Inc. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of The Task Force for Global Health, Inc., NTD CS, or the USAID.

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  1. Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a major public health problem in the Pacific Region, including in Fiji. Through transmission by the mosquito vector Aedes, Fiji has suffered the burden of remaining endemic with LF de...

    Authors: Rosie K. Manolas, Mike Kama, Merelesita Rainima-Qaniuci, Vinaisi D. Bechu, Samuela Tuibeqa, Mareta V. Winston, Nomeeta Ram, Flora Naqio, Kazuyo Ichimori, Corinne Capuano, Masayo Ozaki, Sung Hye Kim, Padmasiri Aratchige, Aalisha Sahukhan and Patricia M. Graves
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2020 48:88
  2. Samoa is a Pacific Island country that has long been known to have a high burden of lymphatic filariasis. Little has been documented about the burden of disability due to the chronic complications of the disea...

    Authors: Tile A. Ah Leong-Lui, Patricia M. Graves and Take Naseri
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2019 47:51
  3. Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease which is targeted for elimination as a public health problem worldwide. Niue is a small self-governing South Pacific island nation with approxima...

    Authors: Catherine N. Carlingford, Wayne Melrose, Grizelda Mokoia, Patricia M. Graves, Kazuyo Ichimori, Corinne Capuano, Sung Hye Kim, Padmasiri Aratchige and Manila Nosa
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2019 47:20
  4. The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis has encouraged countries to follow a set of guidelines to help them assess the need for mass drug administration and evaluate its progress. Papua New Guin...

    Authors: Alvaro Berg Soto, Zhijing Xu, Peter Wood, Nelly Sanuku, Leanne J. Robinson, Christopher L. King, Daniel Tisch, Melinda Susapu and Patricia M. Graves
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2018 46:41
  5. In 2000, American Samoa had 16.5% prevalence of lymphatic filariasis (LF) antigenemia. Annual mass drug administration (MDA) was conducted using single-dose albendazole plus diethylcarbamazine from 2000 to 200...

    Authors: Shaun P. Coutts, Jonathan D. King, Molisamoa Pa’au, Saipale Fuimaono, Joseph Roth, Mary Rose King, Patrick J. Lammie, Colleen L. Lau and Patricia M. Graves
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2017 45:22
  6. Vanuatu was formerly highly endemic for lymphatic filariasis (LF), caused by Wuchereria bancrofti and transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. After a baseline survey showing 4.8% antigen prevalence in 1998, the coun...

    Authors: Fasihah Taleo, George Taleo, Patricia M. Graves, Peter Wood, Sung Hye Kim, Masayo Ozaki, Hayley Joseph, Brian Chu, Alex Pavluck, Aya Yajima, Wayne Melrose, Kazuyo Ichimori and Corinne Capuano
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2017 45:18
  7. Lymphatic filariasis (LF) occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The filarial worms affect the lymphatic system which leads to abnormal enlargement of body parts, chronic ...

    Authors: Tammy Allen, Fasihah Taleo, Patricia M. Graves, Peter Wood, George Taleo, Margaret C. Baker, Mark Bradley and Kazuyo Ichimori
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2017 45:8
  8. There is very limited data available on the prevalence of Bancroftian filariasis in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Considerable attempts to eliminate the disease had occurred in the Pacific region b...

    Authors: Moses Pretrick, Wayne Melrose, Jean-Paul Chaine, Deon Canyon, Jaime Carron, Patricia M. Graves and Richard S. Bradbury
    Citation: Tropical Medicine and Health 2017 45:17