Patterns of Trypanosoma vivax and T. Congolense infection differ in young N'Dama cattle and their dams
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Veterinary Parasitology;55(3): 175-183
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/29880
Trypanosome infection was detected by the dark ground/phase contrast buffy coat microscopic technique in N'Dama cattle in a high natural tsetse challenge situation in Zaire. The data were used to compare the pattern of infection in very young animals and in their dams, and to evaluate how the pattern evolved in calves from birth to maturity, and thereafter in the different age groups represented by their dams. Five hundred and fourteen calves were evaluated at 3 week intervals for an average of 26 months each, over varying periods between birth and 42 months of age. Two hundred and sixty nine dams had matching records from parturition to calf weaning at 10 months. One month after weaning, animals were equally infected with Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanosoma congolense. From then until 42 months, the proportion of time an animal was infected with T.vivax relative to T. congolense gradually decreased. In the dams this trend continued from 4 years to at least 8 years of age by which time T. vivax infection was only one-third that of T. congolense infection. This finding is regarded as strong evidence of the ability of N'Dama cattle, in this region of Africa, to acquire significant control of the development of parasitaemia following T. vivax infection but apparently not following T. congolense infection. Pre-weaner calves, grazing with their dams, appeared to have considerable protection from, or be more to their own immediate post-weaning situations. More sensitive diagnostic techniques such as antibody and antigen-detection enzyme immuno-assays may help differentiate between pre-weaners that may not be infected and those that may be capable of controlling the development of detectable parasitaemia.