Risk Factors Associated With African Animal Trypanosome Infection in Cattle in Kiang West District, Lower River Region, The Gambia, 2021

  • Zoonotic
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Background: In The Gambia, cattle production contributes to 34% of the National Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP). However, the zoonotic infection African Animal Trypanosome (AAT) account for 53.4% of the annual cattle deaths in The Gambia. Attempts have been made in the past to control AATs without much success due to the inability to identify the prevailing risk factors that need to be targeted, hence the need for this study. We assessed the prevalence and risk factors associated with AAT infection in cattle in Kiang West District, The Gambia, for effective targeted control intervention.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in June 2021 with 384 cattle from 16 herds selected in 4 randomly selected villages of Kiang West District. Data on animal husbandry factors were collected using a structured questionnaire. We collected 5ml of blood and screened for AAT infection using buffy coat and Giemsa staining methods. We used multiple logistic regression to determine the risk factors of AAT among cattle.
Results: Of the 384 cattle assessed, 45 (11.7%) had AAT infection with the species Trypanosome vivax, Trypanosome congolense, and Trypanosome brucei being 26 (6.8%), 11 (2.9%), and 19 (0.5%), respectively. Mix-infection (T. congolense and T. vivax) prevalence was 1.6% (6). Jifarong village had the highest number of AAT infections 128 (33.3%). AAT infection was significantly associated with Crossbreed (aOR=11.9; 95% CI=1.87–74.85) and anaemia (aOR=2.0; 95% CI=1.07–3.89).
Conclusions: The prevalence of AAT infection was high with Trypanosome vivax being the dominant species among cattle in the study area. Risk factors for infection were the Crossbreed type of breed and anaemic condition of animals. Investment into cattle breeds less susceptible to AAT should be maximised.

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