Prevalence of theileria, anaplasma and babesia haemoparasites in cattle and their perceived associated factors in makulubita sub-county, luweero district, central Uganda
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Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) constitute a great portion of livestock production constraints in Uganda, a case in point theileriosis, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. A cross sectional study was carried out to assess the haematological prevalence of Theileria, Anaplasma and Babesia haemoparasites and the perceived associated factors of cattle in Makulubita sub-county, Luweero district, Central Uganda. This was in order to gain insight into the extent of the burden of TBD’s and therefore enable stakeholders design informed solutions. The study covered all the nine parishes of Makulubita sub-county and involved collection of 182 blood samples from coccygeal vein of cattle which was used to make thin blood smears for microscopic examination for TBD parasites. In addition, semi-structured questionnaires were used to gather data relating to perceived factors associated with TBDs. This was done in conjunction with observation to obtain on-site information to verify the management system and structures on the farms that play a role in tick control. The overall prevalence of TBDs was found to be 6.0% with 4.4% Theileria parva, 3.3% Anaplasma marginale, and 1.6% co- infection of T. parva and A. marginale. No Babesia species were detected. There was no significant association observed between the prevalence of any tick-borne disease with age, sex or breed. The ticks collected indicated 98.7% R. appendiculatus, 0.9% R. (Boophilus) decoloratus and 0.4% Amblyomma variagatum. All the farms involved in the study attested to the use acaricide ranging from synthetic pyrethroids, amitraz and co-formulations as a method for tick control. Furthermore 88.9% of the respondents affirmed that they consult a veterinary doctor for advice concerning acaricide use. The study revealed a low prevalence of Tick-Borne Diseases (TBDs) in Makulubita sub-county Luweero district compared to previous studies in Central Uganda. In addition, most of the farmers used advice from veterinary doctors which could have been a significant factor for the low prevalence of TBDs. There is a need for further research in the entire district using more sensitive tests like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in ascertaining the prevalence of TBDs.