The preparatory phase for ground larviciding implementation for chocerciasis control in the Meme River Basin in South West Cameroon: the COUNTDOWN Consortium alternative strategy implementation trial

Parasit Vectors. 2022 Jun 21;15(1):219. doi: 10.1186/s13071-022-05300-z.


Background: Onchocerciasis control using ivermectin alone has been achieved in some endemic savannah zones of Africa. In the forest regions, the co-endemicity with Loa loa has led to severe adverse events (SAEs) resulting in poor adherence of community members to ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA). This may jeopardize achieving the interruption of transmission of onchocerciasis. Therefore, to accelerate the elimination of onchocerciasis in L. loa co-endemic zones, alternative treatment strategies (ATS) including ground larviciding may be necessary. This study aimed at identifying Simulium breeding sites, cytospecies, transmission profile, susceptibility of Simulium larvae to insecticide (temephos) and identification of some non-target aquatic fauna prior to the implementation of the COUNTDOWN consortium ground larviciding alternative strategy in the Meme River Basin in South West Cameroon.

Methods: A topographic map and entomological survey were used to determine breeding sites. Larvae and adults were identified using standard identification keys. Susceptibility tests were carried out on collected larvae by exposing them to decreasing concentrations of temephos and assessing survival rates while the cytospecies were identified using cytotaxonomy. Various entomological indicators were assessed from dissected flies. Fishing was used as proxy to traps to assess some aquatic fauna at different sites.

Results: Twenty-two breeding sites were prospected in the Meme River Basin with eight productive for larvae. A concentration of 0.5-0.1 mg/l temephos induced 100% larval mortality. As the concentration of temephos decreased from 0.05 to 0.0025 mg/l, mortality of larvae also decreased from 98.7 to 12%. Nine cytospecies were observed in the Meme River Basin; 13,633 flies were collected and 4033 dissected. A total of 1455 flies were parous (36.1%), 224 flies were infected (5.5%), and 64 were infective (1.6%). Aquatic fauna observed included Cyprinus spp., Clarias spp., crabs, tadpoles, beetles and larvae of damsel fly.

Conclusions: Onchocerciasis is being actively transmitted within the Meme River Basin. Simulium larvae are susceptible to temephos, and nine cytospecies are present. Non-target fauna observed included fishes, frogs, crabs and insects. Besides treatment with ivermectin, vector control through ground larviciding may be a complementary strategy to accelerate onchocerciasis elimination in the study area.

Keywords: Breeding site; Ground larviciding; Onchocerciasis elimination; S. damnosum; Susceptibility test; Temephos.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brachyura*
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use
  • Larva
  • Onchocerciasis* / epidemiology
  • Rivers
  • Simuliidae*
  • Temefos / pharmacology


  • Ivermectin
  • Temefos

Grant support