Prevalence of animal African Trypanosomiasis and associated risk factors among Zebu cattle in Nwoya District, Northern Uganda
Okot, Darwin Bella
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African trypanosomiasis is one of the neglected parasitic tropical diseases affecting domestic animals and a wide range of wildlife species that constitute a reservoir of infection for both humans and domestic animals. It is associated with devastating economic losses in livestock production and productivity of the animals. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Nwoya district, northern Uganda to determine the prevalence of Animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT) and associated risk factors among Zebu cattle. Blood samples were collected from 504 randomly selected cattle and subjected to parasitological and Molecular analysis in order to determine the prevalence of AAT. In addition, a structured questionnaire was administered to 35 participating livestock farmers and 5 veterinary personnel in order to generate data on the general knowledge on AAT and the associated risk factors. Out of the 504 blood samples examined, 6 (1.19%) and 22 (4.37 %) tested positive for trypanosomes by Microscopy and the Internal Transcribed Spacer region (ITS1- PCR)), respectively. The infections were caused by; Trypanosoma congolense (50%), T. vivax (36.37) and (13.6%) had mixed infection of both. The association of trypanosomes infection with age and body condition of the studied cattle was statistically significant (p≤0.05). The presence of vectors and grazing near game Park were the major factors predisposing cattle to trypanosome infections. Hence, this calls for the strategic and integrated intervention so as to control the disease as well as its vector in order to minimize its impact on livestock health and production.