Kenya

Non Tsetse transmitted animal trypanosomosis (NTTAT) in working donkeys

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Date presented: 
Sunday 26 May 2013
Abstract

Although donkeys are considered to be more resistant to trypanosomes, they are often seen causing severe clinical disease, particularly anaemia, lethargy and boor body condition, in immuno-compromised animals due to stress from overwork, poor management practices and low quality diets. Studies made by the Donkey Sanctuary (DS) in Kenya showed a high prevalence of both tsetse and none tsetse transmitted trypanosomes. T. congolense and T. brucei sp are the most highly prevalent tsetse transmitted trypanosomes while T. vivax is the second most prevalent, next to T. congolense. Infection prevalence of T. vivax as high as 30% were diagnosed in Kenya and Ethiopia using parasitological techniques. These prevalences could have been higher had they been diagnosed using molecular techniques, as it was shown by the study made in Gambia, in which they found an infection prevalence of 87% using PCR.

Dourine is mostly diagnosed in horses from the highland regions in Ethiopia. Recent serological study made in Ethiopia, however, revealed not only in donkeys but across all agro-ecological zones. However, as the CFT does not differentiate between the infection of Dourine and Surra, it is difficult to know the true epidemiology of these diseases among equids where they both exist. Although Surra is reported in donkeys from different countries, it is not reported in donkeys in Ethiopia. However, Surra is endemic in camels in the arid and semi-arid regions of Ethiopia. The recent migration of camels to the mid-lowland areas during the dry season in search of feed might spread the disease among equids in the area.

Recent study made in Gambia by Glasgow University, funded by the DS, showed a fatal neurological syndrome among donkeys and horses caused by trypanosomosis. The aetiological agent of this emerging neurological syndrome has been established based on the presence of trypanosomes in the brain of affected animals. However, given the genetic homology between T. evansi, T. brucei brucei and T. equiperdum, it was not possible to confirm which one of these is causing this devastating condition. To solve this mystery and identify the species of trypanosome involved, study on further molecular characterization of cerebral trypanosomosis is underway in Gambia, a project funded by the DS.

The infection of trypanosomes in donkeys raises certain questions that need to be addressed. Given the high infection prevalence in the donkey population and associated diseases;

• Are they really carriers/resistant to trypanosomosis?
• The welfare implication of trypanosomosis in donkeys
• What would be the role of donkeys in the epidemiology of trypanosomosis?
• The impact of exclusion of donkeys in the control of animal trypanosomosis?

Semi-longitudinal study of trypanosomiasis and its vectors in donkeys (equus africanus asinus, fitzinger) in the Lamu archipelago

Citation

Phoebe Mukiria, Raymond Mdachi, J. Thuita, James Mutuku, Kennedy Wanjala, J. Omolo, Mulugeta Getachew, Andrew F. Trawford, Johnson Ouma, Grace Murilla. Semi-longitudinal study of trypanosomiasis and its vectors in donkeys (equus africanus asinus, fitzinger) in the Lamu archipelago. Presented at 12th KARI Biennial Scientific Conference. (8 November - 12 November 2010). Loresho, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Date presented: 
Monday 8 November 2010
Abstract

Kenya is home to some 600,000 donkeys that are found virtually in all ecological zones where they provide transport and draught power. In the Lamu archipelago where there is no motorised transport, donkeys are virtually the only available means of transport helping to transport farm produce, building materials and for getting from one place to the next. This study was conducted in April (dry season) and November 2009 (wet season) in four villages in Pate Island to investigate the prevalence and species of trypanosomes infecting donkeys and to identify the fly vectors playing a role in the transmission of trypanosomosis. Blood samples were collected from 288 and 319 donkeys and examined by buffy coat technique (BCT) and Giemsa stained blood smears. Trypanosomes were encountered in 3.1 and 7.5% of the examined donkeys in the dry and wet season respectively and there was no difference in the prevalence between villages during both seasons (p=0.159 and 0.709) but there was a significant difference (p=0.006) between seasons. Three species of trypanosomes detected were, in order of predominance were Trypanosoma congolense Broden (68.7%), Trypanosoma vivax Ziemann (21.8%) and Trypanosoma brucei Plimmer and Bradford (6.2%). Another 6.2% were mixed infections. There difference in mean PCVs between trypanosome infected and non-infected donkeys dry and wet seasons ranging significant to highly significant (p<0.05 and p<0.001) respectively. Trypanosome infection had a significant effect on mean body condition score of the donkeys during both seasons (p<0.05 and p<0.001). Prevalence of trypanosome infection was found to be independent of sex and age. However, mean PCV was significantly associated with age, sex and body condition scores. The entomological surveys revealed the presence of Glossina pallidipes Austen and other biting flies namely Stomoxys spp Linnaeus, Tabanus spp. Linnaeus, and Haematopota spp Linnaeus. Though the use of BCT for detection of trypanosomes in the field is
almost universal, it has limited application especially in chronic infections and the field samples are in the process of being analysed using PCR to give a more accurate picture of the prevalence and as it relates to health and productivity of donkeys.

Community development as a mode of improving the welfare of working equines: Sharing experiences from Kenya

Citation

Walter O. Okello, J. Ojwang, Soloman Onyango. December 2010. Community development as a mode of improving the welfare of working equines: Sharing experiences from Kenya. Presented at 6th International Colloquium on Working Equids. (29 November - 2 December 2010). New Delhi, India. 407.

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Date presented: 
Monday 29 November 2010
Proceedings
Number of pages: 
407
Publisher: 
The Brooke
Publication date: 
31 December 2010
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