Animal trypanosomosis in clinically healthy cattle of north Cameroon: Epidemiological implications

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Abstract

Background: The control of animal trypanosomosis consists, amongst other things, of the punctual treatment of new cases, primarily diagnosed by pastoralists on the basis of clinical signs. This practice suggests that many apparently healthy infected animals are left untreated. In this study animal trypanosomosis in clinically healthy zebu cattle was evaluated, the distribution of the vectors established and the epidemiological implications discussed. Methods: In 2014 two cross-sectional surveys were carried out in the Cambeef ranch. A total of 866 blood samples were collected from cattle in different sites: 549 in the dry season and 317 in the rainy season. The blood samples were subjected to parasitological examination using the buffy coat method and to PCV determination. An entomological survey on animal trypanosomosis vectors was undertaken during tsetse flies caught were identified and the mid-gut of each living non-teneral tsetse fly was examined for infections using a microscope. Results: An overall trypanosomosis prevalence of 9 % was found in the cattle examined. There were significantly (P < 0.05) more trypanosome infected cattle in the dry season than the rainy season. Trypanosome-infected cattle had significantly (P < 0.05) lower Body Condition Scores (BCS) and Packed Cell Volumes (PCV) in the dry season than in the rainy season. Anemia was positively correlated with trypanosome infection. The likelihood for an animal to be parasitologically free of trypanosome infection was at least three times as high in the Gudali breed as compared with the white and red Fulani breeds. Species of trypanosomes identified were Trypanosoma vivax (73.23 %), Trypanosoma congolense (15.49 %) and Trypanosoma brucei (11.27 %). A total of 390 tsetse flies and 103 tabanids were trapped. Two species of tsetse flies were identified: Glossina tachinoides (33.59 %) and G. morsitans submorsitans (41 %). Nine of the 194 non-teneral flies were infected with trypanosomes. Conclusion: Carriers of trypanosomes are present amongst apparently healthy cattle in the study site. Attempts to successfully reduce the population of reservoir trypanosomes within herds and control the disease will need to consider mass screening once every year and this should be associated with drug sensitivity tests.

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Mamoudou, A., Njanloga, A., Hayatou, A., Suh, P. F., & Achukwi, M. D. (2016). Animal trypanosomosis in clinically healthy cattle of north Cameroon: Epidemiological implications. Parasites and Vectors, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1498-1

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