A diagnostic "patch test" for onchocerciasis using topical diethylcarbamazine

P Stingl, M Ross, D W Gibson, J Ribas, D H Connor
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1984, 78 (2): 254-8
There is great need for a simple, inexpensive, and sensitive diagnostic test for onchocerciasis, especially in endemic areas where trained personnel and laboratory facilities are limited. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) was applied as a "patch test" to the skin of 45 patients with onchocerciasis in the Southern Sudan. 75 tests were done on these 45 patients, and 69 (92%) were positive. A positive reaction was a papular eruption beneath the patch. Histopathological studies of the skin beneath the patch revealed the microscopic features of a severe Mazzotti reaction, including degenerating microfilariae in the upper dermis and within epidermal eosinophilic abscesses.

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