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Trypanosomiasis in domestic livestock in the Lambwe Valley area and a field evaluation of various diagnostic techniques

By J. Robson and T. S. Ashkar


A preliminary survey of 2 073 domestic animals in the Lambwe Valley, Kenya, showed a 7.4% rate of infection with Trypanosoma congolense and T. vivax. In comprehensive surveys covering 6 384 domestic stock, pathogenic trypanosomes were found in 17.0% of cattle, 5.0% of sheep, and 2.1% of goats. Adults were more often infected than young animals, and males more often than females. T. congolense was the trypanosome most frequently diagnosed, followed by T. vivax and the T. brucei subgroup. T. theileri was also found. The examination of wet blood films in the field as a means of diagnosing trypanosome infections was shown to be valueless. More infections were detected in peripheral blood films than in systemic blood films, but both should be examined. An examination of smears of glandular fluid is essential for the diagnosis of T. vivax in cattle, while mouse-inoculation tests are necessary for the diagnosis of the T. brucei subgroup. The detection of T. vivax was improved by the high-speed centrifugation of blood samples in capillary tubes

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