INVESTIGATION OF LIVESTOCK FOR PRESENCE OF TRYPANOSOMA BRUCEI GAMBIENSE IN TAFA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NIGER STATE, NIGERIA
The study investigated the presence of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense in livestock to ascertain their reservoir role and also screened for other pathogenic trypanosomes of animals in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger state, Nigeria. A total of 460 livestock comprising (cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs) selected at random were bled, examined using the buffy coat and Giemsa stained thin film and packed cell volume estimated. Questionnaire was filled for each animal on demography, awareness and management practices. An overall prevalence of 2.17% with Trypanosoma brucei, T. congolense, T. vivax and a mixed infection of T. brucei and T. congolense observed microscopically awaiting characterization. Interviews revealed high awareness (82.8%) of tsetse and trypanosomiasis described as bush disease and abortion in four cows. The PCV values were within the normal range, however, a significant decrease (P<0.05) was observed in sheep aged 7months to 4years in two communities. Therefore, the study indicated the presence of T. brucei and other trypanosomes suggesting that animal trypanosomiasis is still a problem to animal health and wellbeing in the study area. The study recommends effective integrated chemotherapy and vector control including livestock rearing under intensive management system to boost livestock production and productivity.