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Background: African Animal Trypanosomiasis (AAT) is a widespread disease of livestock in Nigeria and presents a major constraint to rural economic development. The Jos Plateau was considered free from tsetse flies and the trypanosomes they transmit due to its high altitude and this trypanosomiasis free status attracted large numbers of cattle-keeping pastoralists to the area. The Jos Plateau now plays a major role in the national cattle industry in Nigeria, accommodating approximately 7% of the national herd, supporting 300,000 pastoralists and over one million cattle. During the past two decades tsetse flies have invaded the Jos Plateau and animal trypanosomiasis has become a significant problem for livestock keepers. Here we investigate the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis as a re-emerging disease on the Plateau, examining the social factors that influence prevalence and seasonal variation of bovine trypanosomiasis. Methods. In 2008 a longitudinal two-stage cluster survey was undertaken on the Jos Plateau. Cattle were sampled in the dry, early wet and late wet seasons. Parasite identification was undertaken using species-specific polymerase chain reactions to determine the prevalence and distribution of bovine trypanosomiasis. Participatory rural appraisal was also conducted to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning animal husbandry and disease control. Results: Significant seasonal variation between the dry season and late wet season was recorded across the Jos Plateau, consistent with expected variation in tsetse populations. However, marked seasonal variations were also observed at village level to create 3 distinct groups: Group 1 in which 50% of villages followed the general pattern of low prevalence in the dry season and high prevalence in the wet season; Group 2 in which 16.7% of villages showed no seasonal variation and Group 3 in which 33.3% of villages showed greater disease prevalence in the dry season than in the wet season. Conclusions: There was high seasonal variation at the village level determined by management as well as climatic factors. The growing influence of management factors on the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis highlights the impact of recent changes in land use and natural resource competition on animal husbandry decisions in the extensive pastoral production system. © 2013 Majekodunmi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Majekodunmi, A. O., Fajinmi, A., Dongkum, C., Picozzi, K., Macleod, E., Thrusfield, M. V., … Welburn, S. C. (2013). Social factors affecting seasonal variation in bovine trypanosomiasis on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria. Parasites and Vectors, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-293