Molecular epidemiological studies on animal trypanosomiases in GhanaReport as inadecuate

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Parasites and Vectors

, 5:217

First Online: 01 October 2012Received: 15 June 2012Accepted: 20 September 2012


BackgroundAfrican trypanosomes are extracellular protozoan parasites that are transmitted between mammalian hosts by the bite of an infected tsetse fly. Human African Trypanosomiasis HAT or sleeping sickness is caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense or T. brucei gambiense, while African Animal Trypanosomiasis AAT is caused mainly by T. vivax, T. congolense, T. simiae,T. evansi and T. brucei brucei. Trypanosomiasis is of public health importance in humans and is also the major constraint for livestock productivity in sub-Saharan African countries. Scanty information exists about the trypanosomiasis status in Ghana especially regarding molecular epidemiology. Therefore, this study intended to apply molecular tools to identify and characterize trypanosomes in Ghana.

MethodsA total of 219 tsetse flies, 248 pigs and 146 cattle blood samples were collected from Adidome and Koforidua regions in Ghana in 2010. Initial PCR assays were conducted using the internal transcribed spacer one ITS1 of ribosomal DNA rDNA primers, which can detect most of the pathogenic trypanosome species and T. vivax- specific cathepsin L-like gene primers. In addition, species- or subgroup-specific PCRs were performed for T. b. rhodesiense, T. b. gambiense, T. evansi and three subgroups of T. congolense.

ResultsThe overall prevalence of trypanosomes were 17.4% 38-219, 57.5% 84-146 and 28.6% 71-248 in tsetse flies, cattle and pigs, respectively. T. congolense subgroup-specific PCR revealed that T. congolense Savannah 52.6% and T. congolense Forest 66.0% were the endemic subgroups in Ghana with 18.6% being mixed infections. T. evansi was detected in a single tsetse fly. Human infective trypanosomes were not detected in the tested samples.

ConclusionOur results showed that there is a high prevalence of parasites in both tsetse flies and livestock in the study areas in Ghana. This enhances the need to strengthen control policies and institute measures that help prevent the spread of the parasites.

KeywordsTrypanosomiasis Human African Trypanosomiasis Ghana PCR Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-3305-5-217 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Jesca Nakayima - Ryo Nakao - Andy Alhassan - Charles Mahama - Kofi Afakye - Chihiro Sugimoto


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