Cattle resistant to tsetse fly
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CTA. 1986. Cattle resistant to tsetse fly. Spore 4. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44494
Over the last five years, a new avenue seems to have opened up to researchers working on the fight against trypanosomiasis: trypanotolerant cattle. Trypanosomiasis is the scientific name for sleeping sickness, which is transmitted by the tsetse fly....
Over the last five years, a new avenue seems to have opened up to researchers working on the fight against trypanosomiasis: trypanotolerant cattle. Trypanosomiasis is the scientific name for sleeping sickness, which is transmitted by the tsetse fly. It was generally thought that only certain breeds of cattle, goats and sheep in West Africa were trypanotolerant, meaning that they were able to tolerate the effects of sleeping sickness. However, it has now been discovered that some oxen in East Africa have the same characteristics. In order to evaluate the productivity of trypanotolerant animals under different conditions, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) located in Ethiopia has launched a joint programme with the International Laboratory for Veterinary Research (ILVR) whose head office is in Kenya. A research and experimentation network has thus been established and is currently operating in eleven African countries (Gabon, Ivory Coast, Zaire, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Gambia, Benin, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia). Trypanotolerant animals are generally of a smaller size and occasionally even dwarf. One must therefore determine if this kind of livestock is more productive than non-tolerant cattle treated with drugs to prevent the disease. What makes an animal trypanotolerant? It seems to be linked to an internal capacity to limit the number of parasites in the blood as well as a reduced sensitivity not only to the disease but also to its side-effects. Immunological and physiological factors thus increase resistance to this problem. It seems that the hide of an animal plays an important role: skin lesions caused by tsetse bites are smaller and less numerous with trypanotolerant animals. A new international research centre has been created in Zambia to try to discover the secret of trypanotolerance in order to develop genetic improvement programmes.