Trypanosomosis, the disease and its control : an analysis of a new tsetse-repellent technology

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health

Author: Elin Prowse; [2005]

Keywords: trypanosomosis; tsetse; repellent; cattle;

Abstract: Trypanosomosis, a disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus, Trypanosoma and transmitted cyclically by the tsetse fly (Glossina spp) is arguably still the one of the main constraints to livestock production on the African continent, preventing full use of the land to feed the rapidly increasing human population. Sleeping sickness, the disease caused in humans by other species specific of Trypanosoma, is an important yet neglected disease which poses a threat to millions of people in tsetse infested areas. Current trypanosomosis control relies on trypanocidal drugs, use of trypanotolerant cattle breeds and control of the vector, namely the tsetse fly. None of these methods have the full potential to work in the long-term control of the disease. Most heavily relied on are the trypanocidal drugs and this has lead to an increasing problem with resistence in the target organisms. A major project is underway in Kenya testing an alternative trypanosomosis control option. Research at the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), has lead to the development of a tsetse fly repellent which is now being tested by ICIPE and the International Livestock Institute (ILRI) in a three year study. The goal is to take the repellent from the laboratory out to the farmers whose livestock are at risk of trypanosomosis. The objectives of this report were to study Trypanosomosis and its control, and to join research staff from ILRI to take part in the ongoing project during field studies in Narok and Nguruman, Kenya. The work was carried out as a Minor Field Study (MFS) at the Epidemiology center, ILRI, Nairobi, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Randolph and PhD students Bernard Bett and Patrick Irungu.

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