The prevalence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies in Handeni district and Ngorogoro Conservation Area
Geest, M. van der
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Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) are a big problem in sub-Saharan Africa because they are the most common vector for trypanosomes. In this part of Africa they threat human health and limit rural development by transmitting the trypanosome parasites that cause the fatal diseases of Nagana (or AAT; African Animal Trypanosomiasis) in domestic animals and Sleeping Sickness (or HAT; Human African Trypanosomiasis) in human. Direct losses from trypanosomiasis in cattle include mortality, morbidity, decreased milk and meat production, impaired fertility and the costs of tsetse and trypanosomiasis control operations. Indirect losses include the farmers’ responses to the risk of the disease. A study on the prevalence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies was conducted from September 2010 to November 2010 in Handeni district and Ngorogoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. The fly-survey was conducted by using biconical, pyramidal and NGU traps and revealed that two tsetse species namely Glossina pallidipes and G. swynnertoni were found. The prevalence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies and the apparent density of these flies were determined. A total of 375 flies were dissected, and revealed the presence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies in these areas. The overall prevalence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies was 3.5%. The prevalence in Handeni district (4.49%) was higher then the prevalence in Ngorogoro Conservation Area (2.73%). Overall the results suggested that the tsetse density is low and the prevalence of trypanosomes in these tsetse flies is low in this time of year. This needs to be considered when developing area- specific strategies for future management of tsetse- transmitted animal trypanosomiasis.