OJVM  Vol.4 No.10 , October 2014
Epidemiology of Increasing Hemo-Parasite Burden in Ugandan Cattle
Abstract: Hemo-parasites (HP) are one of the major constraints to the economic development of the livestock industry in Uganda. Generally, the occurrence and importance of HP is a reflection of complex interactions involving the causative organisms, tick vectors, the vertebrate hosts and the environment. We carried out a cross sectional study to identify and determine the prevalence of the major HPs in Central and Western Uganda, to form a baseline for appropriate interventions. A total of 295 bovine samples were analyzed from 15 districts of Uganda; 56.3% being from the Central and 43.7% from the Western region of the country for a period of six months, and a questionnaire was administered to the farmers. Thin peripheral blood smears stained with Giemsa were used during the laboratory identification of the parasites. The disease prevalence was established at 47.4%, 6.7%, 1.9% and 14.4% for Theleria parva, Babesia spp., Trypanasoma brucei, Anaplasma spp. with a corresponding disease risk ratio (DRR) of 67.4%, 9.5%, 2.6%, 20.5% respectively in Uganda. The odds of having an infection from the Central region were 1.7 times greater (P < 0.05) than those from the Western region with a corresponding risk ratio of 1.2 (CI.1.1, 2.84, 95%), which showed that there exist marked differences between the two regions. Mean PCV was at 29.8%, and majority (59%) of infected animals had low PCV which varied across the months. These showed that generally, cattle in the West are more severely affected by HP than those from the Central region. The questionnaire revealed that 100% of the farmer treatments are based on clinical sign presentation, with occasional reliance on veterinarians. In conclusion, the burden of hemo-parasites is steadily increasing across the regions, and the current policies are not helping farmers who are hit the hardest by the development of antibiotic and acaricide resistance. These findings, along with previous studies, suggest that eradication HP is not feasible unless there are radical changes implemented, and that current practices are expensive and unsustainable. Further studies would be carried out to provide knowledge on the level of antibiotic resistance for the promotion of veterinary public health and trade.
Cite this paper: Kasozi, K. , Matovu, E. , Tayebwa, D. , Natuhwera, J. , Mugezi, I. and Mahero, M. (2014) Epidemiology of Increasing Hemo-Parasite Burden in Ugandan Cattle. Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 4, 220-231. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2014.410026.

[1]   Muhanguzi, D., Picozzi, K., Hatendorf, J., Thrusfield, M., Welburn, S.C., Kabasa, J.D. and Waiswa, C. (2014) Prevalence and Spatial Distribution of Theileria parva in Cattle under Crop-Livestock Farming systems in Tororo District, Eastern Uganda. Parasit Vectors, 7, 91.

[2]   Minjauw, B. and McLeod, A. (2003) Tick-Borne Diseases and Poverty. The Impact of Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases on the Livelihood of Small-Scale and Marginal Livestock Owners in India and Eastern and Southern Africa. UK: Research Report, DFID Animal Health Programme, Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh.

[3]   Norval, R.A.I., Perry, B.D. and Young, A.S. (1992) The Epidemiology of Theileriosis in Africa. Academic Press Ltd., London, 481.

[4]   Gitau, G.K., Perry, B.D., Katende, J.M., McDermott, J.J., Morzaria, S.P. and Young, A.S. (1997) The Prevalence of Serum Antibodies to Tick-Borne Infections in Cattle in Smallholder Dairy Farms in Murang’a District, Kenya; a Cross-Sectional Study. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 30, 95-107.

[5]   Wesonga, F.D., Kitala, P.M., Gathuma, J.M., Njenga, M.J. and Ngumi, P.N. (2010) An Assessment of Tick-Borne Diseases Constraints to Livestock Production in a Smallholder Livestock Production System in Machakos District, Kenya.

[6]   Mapping a Better Future (2014) An overview of Livestock and poverty. Spatial Analysis and Pro-Poor Livestock Strategies in Uganda, 12-22.

[7]   Perry, B.D. and Young, A.S. (1995) The Past and Future Roles of Epidemiology and Economics in the Control of Tick-Borne Diseases of Livestock in Africa: The Case of Theileriosis. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 25, 107-120.

[8]   MDG (2014) Millennial Developmental Goals Report.

[9]   Anthony, M., Kayiizi, V., Owiny, D. and Mburu, J. (2014). Breeding Services and the Factors Influencing Their Use on Smallholder Dairy Farms in Central Uganda. Veterinary Medicine International, 2014, Article ID: 169380.

[10]   Uilenberg, G. and Camus, E. (1993) Heartwater (Cowdriosis). In: Woldehiwet, Z. and Ristic, M.W., Eds., Rickettsial and Chlamydial Diseases of Domestic Animals, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 293-232.

[11]   Angwech, H., Kaddu, J.B. and Nyeko, J.H.P. (2011) Tick-Borne Parasites of Domestic Ruminants in Gulu District, Uganda: Prevalence Varied with the Intensity of Management. Veterinary Research, 4, 28-33.

[12]   Rubaire-Akiiki, C., Okello-Onen, J., Nasinyama, G.W., Vaarst, M. and Kabagambe, E.K., et al. (2004) The Prevalence of Serum Antibodies to Tick-Borne Infections in Mbale District, Uganda: The Effect of Agro-Ecological Zone, Grazing Management and Age of Cattle. Journal of Insect Science, 4, 8.

[13]   Ristic, M. (1968) Volume 2: Anaplasmosis. In: Weinman, D. and Ristic, M., Eds., Infectious Blood Diseases of Man and Animals, Academic Press, New York, 473-542.

[14]   Ueti, M.W., Palmer, G.H., Scoles, G.A., Kappmeyer, L.S. and Knowles, D.P. (2008) Persistently Infected Horses Are Reservoirs for Intrastadial Tick-Borne Transmission of the Apicomplexan Parasite Babesia equi. Infection and Immunity, 76, 3525-3529.

[15]   Maloo, S.H. (1993) Epidemiological Study of Vector Borne Diseases with Consequent Development of Preventive Veterinary Programmes for Small Holder Dairy Farms in Coastal Kenya. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

[16]   de Vos, A.J., Bock, R.E. and Molloy, J.B. (2006) Tick-Borne Diseases of Cattle. Tick Fever Centre Biosecurity, Molecular Bioscience Technologies, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Animal Research Institute, Australia.

[17]   Lynen, G., Yrjo-Koskinen, A.E., Bakuname, C., Di Giulio, G., Mlinga, N., Khama, I., Hanks, J., Taylor, N.M., James, A.D., McKeever, D., Peters, A.R. and Rushton, J. (2012) East Coast Fever Immunisation Field Trial in Crossbred Dairy Cattle in Hanang and Handeni Districts in Northern Tanzania. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 44, 567-572.

[18]   Altay, K., Dumanli, N. and Aktas, M. (2007) Molecular Identification, Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Theileria and Babesia Species Infecting Small Ruminants. Veterinary Parasitology, 147, 161-165.

[19]   Otim, C.P. (2000) Advances in Disease Control: Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases. The Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 5, 79-85.

[20]   Bell-Sakyil, L., Koneye, E.B.M., Dogbeyo, O. and Walker, A.R. (2004) Incidence and Prevalence of Tick-Borne Haemoparasites in Domestic Ruminants in Ghana. Veterinary Parasitology, 124, 25-42.

[21]   Kabuusu, R.M., Alexander, R., Kabuusu, A.M., Muwanga, S.N., Atimnedi, P. and Macpherson, C. (2013) Effect of a Wildlife-Livestock Interface on the Prevalence of Intra-Erythrocytic Hemoparasites in Cattle. Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 3, 315-318.

[22]   Ocaido, M., Muwazi, R.T. and Opuda-Asibo, J. (2009) Disease Incidence in Ranch and Pastoral Livestock Herds around Lake Mburo National Park, in South Western Uganda. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 41, 1299-1308.

[23]   Paling, R.W., Mpagala, C., Luttinhuizen, B. and Sibomana, G. (1991) Exposure of Ankole Cattle and Crossbred Cattle to Theileriosis in Rwanda. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 23, 203-214.

[24]   Smith, E.R. and Parker, D.M. (2010) Tick Communities at the Expanding Wildlife/Cattle Interface in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Implications for Corridor Disease. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 81, 237-240.

[25]   Magona, J.W., Walubengo, J. and Odimim, J.J. (1998) Differences in Susceptibility to Trypanosome Infection between Nkedi Zebu and Ankole Cattle, under Field Conditions in Uganda. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 98, 785-792.

[26]   Kabi, F., Magona, J.W., Nasinyama, G.W. and Walubengo, J. (2008) Seroprevalence of Tick Borne Infections among the Nkedi Zebu and Ankole Cattle in Soroti District, Uganda. Journal of Protozoology Research, 18, 61-70.

[27]   Gitau, G.K., Perry, B.D. and McDermott, J.J. (2000) The Incidence, Calf Morbidity and Mortality Due to Theileriaparva Infections in Smallholder Dairy Farms in Murang’a District, Kenya. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 39, 65-79.

[28]   Deem, S.L., Perry, B.D., Katende, J.M., McDermott, J.J. and Mahan, S.M., et al. (1993) Variations in Prevalence Rates of Tick-Borne Diseases in Zebu Cattle by Agroecological Zone: Implications for East Coast Fever Immunisation. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 16, 171-187.

[29]   Sombroek, W.G., Braun, H.M. and van der Pouw, B.J. (1982) Exploratory Soil Map and Agroclimatic Zones Map of Kenya. Exploratory Soil Survey Report No. E1, Kenya Soil Survey, Nairobi.

[30]   Muriuki, H., Omore, A., Hooton, N., Waithaka, M., Ouma, R., Staal, S.J. and Odhiambo, P. (2003) The Policy Environment in the Kenya Dairy Sub-Sector: A Review. SDP Research and Development Report No. 2, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi.

[31]   Gachohi, J., Skilton, R., Hansen, F., Ngumi, P. and Kitala, P. (2012) Epidemiology of East Coast Fever (Theileria parva infection) in Kenya: Past, Present and the Future. Parasites & Vectors, 5, 194.

[32]   Perry, B.D. (1994) The Role of Epidemiology and Economics in the Control of Tick-Borne Diseases of Livestock in Africa. Kenyan Veterinarian, 18, 7-10.

[33]   SNV (2013) Policy Brief 3: Management of Livestock Drug Systems.

[34]   Okello-Onen, J., Heuer, C., Perry, B.D., Tukahirwa, E.M., Ssenyonga, G.S.Z., Heinonen, R. and Bode, E. (1998) Evidence of Endemic Stability of Cattle to East Coast Fever on a Commercial Ranch in Uganda. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 33, 241-250.

[35]   Opiyo, L.M. (2011) Pastoralists’ Livelihoods in the Kidepo Valley Area of Northern Uganda. A Desk Review of the Prevailing Livelihood Strategies, Development Environment and State of Resource Management in the Kidepo Valley Area and Its Environment.

[36]   Kasozi, K.I., Tingiira, J.B. and Vudriko, P. (2014) High Prevalence of Subclinical Mastitis and Multidrug Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Are a Threat to Dairy Cattle Production in Kiboga District (Uganda). Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 4, 35-43.

[37]   APUA (2010) Antibiotics in Food Animal Production: A Forty Year Debate. Vol. 28, No. 2.

[38]   SNV (2013) Policy Brief 1: Management of Ticks and East Coast Fever.

[39]   Norval, R.A.I. (1983) Arguments against Intensive Dipping. Zimbabwe Veterinary Journal, 14, 19-25.