Trypanosome infection in dromedary camels in Eastern Ethiopia: prevalence, relative performance of diagnostic tools and host related risk factors

Fikru Regassa Gari, Yimer Andualem, Terefe Getachew, Joris Menten, Epco Hasker, Bekana Merga, Bruno Maria Goddeeris, Philippe Büscher

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Chifra and Dewe districts of Afar region, Eastern Ethiopia, to determine the prevalence, agreement between diagnostic tests and host related risk factors of trypanosome infection in camel. An overall prevalence of 2%, 24.1%, 21.3%, 9.5% and 7.8% was recorded with respectively Giemsa stained thin blood smear, CATT/T. evansi, RoTat1.2 PCR, 18S PCR and ITS-1PCR in a cohort of 399 animals. Only one T. vivax infection was confirmed by TvPRAC PCR indicating T. evansi as the predominant species affecting camels in the study area. No single animal was positive when tested with T. evansi type B specific EVAB PCR. There was slight agreement between the CATT/T. evansi and the molecular tests. Among the PCR methods, RoTat 1.2 PCR yielded a significantly higher positivity rate compared to 18S PCR and ITS-1 PCR. There was no significant difference in the positivity rate observed in each gender of camels (p>0.05). The positivity rate was significantly higher in camels with poor body condition and in older animals when tested using the CATT/T.evansi or RoTat 1.2 PCR (p>0.05). Camels that tested positive with all tests had significantly lower PCV's (p<0.05). This study provides further evidence that T. evansi is endemic in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The latent class analysis indicated an estimate overall prevalence of 19% (95% CI: 13-28). Moreover, the model indicated low sensitivity of CATT/T. evansi (43%) and the PCR tests (39-53%) but higher specificity of the PCR tests (86-99%) and low specificity of CATT/T. evansi (80%). This study suggests that improved sensitivity and reliability of the tests would help diagnosis of trypanosomosis. Further studies are required to determine the prevalence of clinical disease and losses due to trypanosomosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume211
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
ISSN0304-4017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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