BackgroundDiminazene diaceturate (DA) and isometamidium chloride hydrochloride (ISM) are with homidium bromide, the main molecules used to treat African Animal Trypanosomosis (AAT). These drugs can be purchased from official suppliers but also from unofficial sources like local food markets or street vendors. The sub-standard quality of some of these trypanocides is jeopardizing the efficacy of treatment of sick livestock, leading thus to economic losses for the low-resource farmers and is contributing to the emergence and spread of drug resistance. The objective of this study was to assess the quality of trypanocidal drugs sold in French speaking countries of West Africa. In total, 308 drug samples including 282 of DA and 26 of ISM were purchased from official and unofficial sources in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Togo. All samples were analysed at LACOMEV (Dakar, Senegal), a reference laboratory of the World Organisation for Animal Health, by galenic inspection and high performance liquid chromatography.ResultsThe results showed that 51.90% of the samples were non-compliant compared to the standards and were containing lower quantity of the active ingredient compared to the indications on the packaging. The non-compliances ranged from 63.27% in Togo to 32.65% in Burkina Faso (61.82% in Benin, 53.84% in Mali, 50% in Cote d'Ivoire, 47.36% in Niger). The rates of non-compliance were not statistically different (P=0.572) from official or unofficial suppliers and ranged from 30 to 75% and from 0 to 65% respectively. However, the non-compliance was significantly higher for ISM compared to DA (P=0.028).ConclusionsThe high non-compliance revealed in this study compromises the efficacy of therapeutic strategies against AAT, and is likely to exacerbate chemoresistance in West Africa. Corrective actions against sub-standard trypanocides urgently need to be taken by policy makers and control authorities.