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Title: Investigating the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis in domestic livestock at the micro-scale in Busia, Kenya
Author: von Wissmann, Beatrix
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the epidemiology of both animal infective and zoonotic trypanosome species in a range of domestic livestock at the micro-scale, in Busia, Kenya. The work is based on a unique cross-sectional census data set of the entire livestock population in two study sites in Busia, employing sensitive molecular tools (PCR) to detect trypanosome infections. Cattle were the largest reservoir of trypanosomes with an infection prevalence of 20.1% followed by pigs (11.5%). A low prevalence of infection was detected in small ruminants (3.3%). Human infective trypanosomes (T. b. rhodesiense) were detected at a low prevalence in cattle (1.5%) and pigs (2.9%). Key clinical signs for trypanosomiasis infection (anaemia and poor body condition) were only observed in a minority of infected cattle (<20%). Confinement of livestock to the homesteads, instead of grazing in communal grounds and watering at the river did not provide protection from trypanosome infections. An investigation of the micro-geographic variation in the distribution of trypanosome infections over the study population, revealed significant clustering in one of the two study sites. However, there was no significant effect of distance to water features on trypanosomiasis risk at the herd level. A convenience sampling protocol was shown to give a good estimate of overall trypanosomiasis in cattle, but failed to detect the low prevalence of T. b. rhodesiense. The sustainability of small-scale trypanosomiasis control based on trypanocide treatment of visibly diseased cattle is appraised and the feasibility of additional vector control is discussed. Furthermore, the potential human health implications of a livestock reservoir of T. b. rhodesiense to the local population are examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available