Onchocerciasis is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Antibiotic (ABX) Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Onchocerciasis is caused by filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus.
  • Epidemiology: world’s second-leading cause of blindness.
    • Approximately 18 million people are infected and nearly one million have been permanently blinded or suffer severe visual impairment.
    • 99% of onchocerciasis cases occur in Africa.
  • O. volvulus transmitted to humans by blackflies (Simulium damnosum) in areas including parts of Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
  • Disease tends to be acquired by living near rivers where blackflies breed and transmit the microfilariae.

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Last updated: October 22, 2012