Systematic review and meta-analysis on the global distribution, host range, and prevalence of Trypanosoma evansi

Weldegebrial G Aregawi, Getahun E Agga, Reta D Abdi, Philippe Büscher

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    Background: Surra is an animal trypanosomosis, caused by infection with Trypanosoma evansi and leading to severe economic loss due to mortality and morbidity. Compared to tsetse-transmitted animal trypanosomoses, little attention is given to the epidemiology and control of surra. Understanding its epidemiology is a first step in local and global efforts to control the disease. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on distribution, host ranges and prevalence of T. evansi infection.

    Methods: Four electronic databases were searched for publications on T. evansi that met our inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Subsets of publications were subjected to meta-analysis for the pooled prevalence of T. evansi in various hosts as determined by multiple detection methods.

    Results: A total of 272 references published between 1906-2017 were included. Trypanosoma evansi was reported from 48 countries; largely confined to Africa and Asia with publications on natural T. evansi infections from 77% (n = 48) of countries, contrasting with seven countries in South America, and four in Europe where T. evansi is not endemic but was imported with infected animals. Although surra is a notifiable disease, many countries do not report surra cases to OIE. Trypanosoma evansi was mainly reported from dromedary camels in Africa and the Middle East, water buffaloes, cattle, dogs and horses in East and Southeast Asia. In South America, the acute form of the disease was reported in horses and dogs. Surra was also reported in a wide range of wild animals. Some rare human cases occurred in India and Vietnam. Meta-analysis on a subset of 165 publications indicated pooled prevalence of T. evansi in domestic animals ranging from 14-31%, 6-28% and 2-9% using respectively antibody detection, molecular and parasitological tests, with camels as the most affected, followed by buffalo and cattle.

    Conclusions: This study illustrates that T. evansi affects a wide range of domestic and wild animals in Africa, Asia and South America with highest prevalence observed in dromedary camels. For successful control of T. evansi, both locally and globally, the role of wild animals in the epidemiology of surra needs further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number67
    JournalParasites and Vectors
    Issue number1
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Animals
    • Animals, Domestic
    • Animals, Wild
    • Demography
    • Ecosystem
    • Trypanosoma/isolation & purification
    • Trypanosomiasis/epidemiology


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