Ngongolo K, Estes AB, Hudson PJ, Gwakisa PS (2019) Assessing Risk Factors for Trypanosome Infections in Cattle in Wildlife Interface Areas in Northern Tanzania. J Infect Dis Epidemiol 5:078.


© 2019 Ngongolo K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2474-3658/1510078

Assessing Risk Factors for Trypanosome Infections in Cattle in Wildlife Interface Areas in Northern Tanzania

Kelvin Ngongolo1, 2*, Anna B Estes1,3, Peter J Hudson1,3 and Paul S Gwakisa1,4

1Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Tanzania

2Department of Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Dodoma, Tanzania

3Centre for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

4Genome Sciences Center, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Parasitology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania


Trypanosomosis is a vector-borne, tropical disease that causes mortality and morbidity in livestock and humans. In this study we investigated the risk factors for trypanosome infection in cattle in the Maasai Steppe of northern Tanzania. We assessed the influence of age, sex, herd size and history of treatment against trypanosomosis as risk factors of trypanosome infection. Cattle blood samples were collected from 150 cattle in three villages in the vicinity of Tarangire National Park, which acts as a reservoir of tsetse flies, the trypanosome vector. Parasite species were identified using a nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (n-PCR). Smaller herd sizes, young age (1-2 years), and male sex significantly increased the risk of trypanosome infections. Efforts to control trypanosome infection should be strategically based on location and season while considering age, treatment and herd size as risk factors.