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Parasitological, serological and molecular survey of camel trypanosomiasis in Somalia


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Background: Camel trypanosomiasis or surra is of great concern in Somalia, since the country possesses the largest one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) population in the world. Civil war in Somalia has resulted in the destruction of educational, research, economic and social structures, making the country scores very low for most humanitarian indicators. Previous studies on detection of Trypanosoma species in Somali camels have only been performed during the 1990s using standard trypanosome detection methods (STDM). Considering the lack of state-of-the-art knowledge on camel trypanosomiasis in Somalia, the present study aimed to assess the prevalence of Trypanosoma spp. in three districts of Somalia. Methods: A total of 182 blood samples from C. dromedarius from nomadic and dairy farms were evaluated using STDM, serological (CATT/T. evansi) and molecular (ITS1-PCR) methods. Results: All samples were negative for Trypanosoma spp. by STDM. A total of 125/182 (68.7%, 95% CI: 61.4-75.3%) camels were seropositive for T. evansi by CATT/T. evansi. Camels reared in nomadic system were more likely to be seropositive for T. evansi than those under dairy production system (OR: 5.6, 95% CI: 2.1-15.2, P = 0.0001). Five out of 182 (2.7%, 95% CI: 0.9-6.3%) camels tested positive for Trypanosoma sp. by ITS1-PCR. Sequencing of the ITS1 region of the Trypanosoma species detected herein revealed that camels were infected with T. evansi and T. simiae. Conclusions: Trypanosoma evansi is highly prevalent in camels from the Banadir region of Somalia, particularly in nomadic herds. To our knowledge, this is the first study to confirm infections with T. evansi and T. simiae in Somali camels through DNA sequencing. Our data highlight the need for implementation of adequate control measures aiming to reduce the impact on camel production in the country.
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Hassan‑Kadleetal. Parasites Vectors (2019) 12:598‑019‑3853‑5
Parasitological, serological andmolecular
survey ofcamel trypanosomiasis inSomalia
Ahmed A. Hassan‑Kadle1,2*† , Abdalla M. Ibrahim1†, Hamisi S. Nyingilili3, Abdulkarim A. Yusuf1,2,
Thállitha S. W. J. Vieira2 and Rafael F. C. Vieira2,4*
Background: Camel trypanosomiasis or surra is of great concern in Somalia, since the country possesses the largest
one‑humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) population in the world. Civil war in Somalia has resulted in the destruc‑
tion of educational, research, economic and social structures, making the country scores very low for most humani‑
tarian indicators. Previous studies on detection of Trypanosoma species in Somali camels have only been performed
during the 1990s using standard trypanosome detection methods (STDM). Considering the lack of state‑of‑the‑art
knowledge on camel trypanosomiasis in Somalia, the present study aimed to assess the prevalence of Trypanosoma
spp. in three districts of Somalia.
Methods: A total of 182 blood samples from C. dromedarius from nomadic and dairy farms were evaluated using
STDM, serological (CATT/T. evansi) and molecular (ITS1‑PCR) methods.
Results: All samples were negative for Trypanosoma spp. by STDM. A total of 125/182 (68.7%, 95% CI: 61.4–75.3%)
camels were seropositive for T. evansi by CATT/T. evansi. Camels reared in nomadic system were more likely to be sero‑
positive for T. evansi than those under dairy production system (OR: 5.6, 95% CI: 2.1–15.2, P = 0.0001). Five out of 182
(2.7%, 95% CI: 0.9–6.3%) camels tested positive for Trypanosoma sp. by ITS1‑PCR. Sequencing of the ITS1 region of the
Trypanosoma species detected herein revealed that camels were infected with T. evansi and T. simiae.
Conclusions: Trypanosoma evansi is highly prevalent in camels from the Banadir region of Somalia, particularly in
nomadic herds. To our knowledge, this is the first study to confirm infections with T. evansi and T. simiae in Somali
camels through DNA sequencing. Our data highlight the need for implementation of adequate control measures aim‑
ing to reduce the impact on camel production in the country.
Keywords: CATT/T. evansi, Dromedary, ITS1‑PCR, Trypanosoma evansi, Trypanosoma simiae
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Trypanosomiasis are vector-borne diseases (VBD) that
causes noticeable economic losses [13] and affects
the development of both livestock and human health in
Africa [4]. In Somalia, camel trypanosomiasis or surra is
of great concern since the country possesses the largest
one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) population
in the world, estimated at nearly 8,000,000 heads [57].
e economic importance of camels for Somalia is due
to their role as a food source, as currency, as a means of
transporting milk and water as well as an indicator of
social issues [7]. Camels are uniquely adapted to survive
and produce under extreme arid and semi-arid condi-
tions of Somalia [7], with the majority of animals kept by
nomadic pastoralists in the country [6, 7].
Open Access
Parasites & Vectors
Ahmed A. Hassan‑Kadle and Abdalla M. Ibrahim contributed equally to
this work
1 Abrar Research and Training Centre, Abrar University, Mogadishu,
2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Federal do Paraná,
Curitiba, PR, Brazil
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
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Page 2 of 6
Hassan‑Kadleetal. Parasites Vectors (2019) 12:598
Civil war in Somalia has resulted in the destruction of
educational, research, economic and social structures,
making the country score very low for most humanitar-
ian indicators [8]. Currently, Somali communities and
their livestock are experiencing a famine and suffer-
ing from preventable diseases, due to geographical and
political isolation and lack of state-of-the-art knowledge.
Recently, after some security and political settlement
in the country, camels are kept around urban areas as a
semi-intensive dairy farming system.
Worldwide, camels may be affected by tsetse-transmit-
ted Trypanosoma species, including T. simiae, T. brucei,
T. congolense and T. vivax [9, 10]. In Somalia, previous
studies on detection of Trypanosoma species were per-
formed during the 1990s and reported T. evansi preva-
lence rates ranging from 1.7% to 56.4% in camels [7, 11].
Additionally, T. simiae [9], T. congolense and T. brucei
have also been detected in Somali camels by standard
trypanosome detection methods (STDM) [11].
Clinical signs of trypanosomiasis may be absent in
camels, and thus, laboratory diagnosis should be car-
ried out for confirmation of infection. Several methods
with varying degrees of sensitivity and specificity may
be used for the diagnosis of trypanosomiasis. Standard
trypanosome detection methods, such as microscopical
examination of fresh or stained blood-smears, has been
historically used in the identification of Trypanosoma
spp. Unfortunately, this technique lacks sensitivity and
specificity. A serological assay, the card agglutination
test for T. evansi (CATT/T. evansi) is a rapid diagnostic
test and currently recommended by the World Organiza-
tion for Animal Health [2, 12]. Additionally, molecular
analysis targeting the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1)
region provides multi-species-specific detection of trypa-
nosomes in a single PCR [13], and has been used in epi-
demiological studies.
Although the National Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis
Control Project (NTTCP) was established in the 1980s
in Somalia, no control measures have been implemented
to date. Accordingly, considering the lack of state-of-
the-art knowledge on camel trypanosomiasis in Soma-
lia, the present study aimed to assess the prevalence of
camel trypanosomiasis in three districts of Somalia using
STDM, serological (CATT/T. evansi) and molecular
(ITS1-PCR) methods.
Study area
Banadir region is one of the eighteen regions of the Fed-
eral Republic of Somalia. e region itself is coextensive
with Mogadishu city, the capital of the country. It con-
sists of 17 districts, and three of them were included in
this study: Kahda (2° 4 4.17 N, 45° 14 16.16 E), Daynile
(2° 4 24.61 N 45° 16 48 E) and Yaqshid (2° 4 3.97 N,
45° 21 35.9 E). ese districts are the main camel rear-
ing areas in the investigated region.
Study animals andblood sampling
From December 2015 to March 2016, which represents
the dry season in Somalia, a total of 182 C. dromedarius
(176 females and 6 males) 2 years-old from nomadic
(n = 49) and dairy (n = 133) farms in the Kahda (n = 72),
Daynile (n = 87) and Yaqshid (n = 23) districts were ran-
domly evaluated. Blood samples were collected by jugu-
lar venipuncture. ree millilitres were placed into tubes
without anticoagulant and kept at room temperature
(25 °C) until visible clot retraction; the samples were
then centrifuged at 1500× g for 5min, serum separated
and kept at 20 °C for serological studies. One ml was
placed into EDTA tubes for packed cell volume (PCV)
measurement, microscopical detection of trypanosomes
and preparation of blood spots on filter paper (Whatman
no.4, Whatman, Springfield Mill, United Kingdom) for
PCR analysis. A PCV of 0.26 l/l or less was used as an
indicator of anaemia [14].
Parasitological diagnosis ofTrypanosoma spp.
All camel blood samples were evaluated for the presence
of Trypanosoma spp. by STDM. Briefly, a drop of fresh
whole blood (after gentle mixing) was placed on a clean
microscope slide, covered with coverslip and examined
for the motile parasites, as previously described [15].
Giemsa-stained thin blood and buffy coat smears were
also examined for the presence of Trypanosoma spp., as
described elsewhere [2].
Detection ofT. evansi antibodies bycard agglutination test
(CAT T/T. evansi)
Camel serum samples were tested for the presence of
T. evansi antibodies using the card agglutination test
(CATT/T. evansi) [16], according to the manufacturer’s
instructions (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp,
DNA extraction andPCR forTrypanosoma spp.
Genomic DNA was extracted from all 182 dried blood
spots by Chelex-100 (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, USA), as
previously described [17]. e DNA samples were evalu-
ated by a PCR assay targeting the ITS1 region of Trypa-
nosoma species using previously described primers [18].
e PCR amplifications were performed in a total reac-
tion volume of 25μl containing 0.5μl of 10 pM of each
primer, 12.5μl of 2× master mix (New England BioLabs,
Ipswich, MA, USA), 9.5μl of PCR water and 2μl of each
DNA template. PCR amplifications were performed with
a thermal cycler (GeneAmp® PCR System 9700, Applied
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Hassan‑Kadleetal. Parasites Vectors (2019) 12:598
Biosystems®, Foster City, CA, USA). e amplification
conditions used included an initial denaturation at 94°C
for 30 s, followed by 30 cycles of 94°C for 30 s, 58°C for
40 s, 68°C for 1min, with a final extension step at 68°C
for 5min and cooling at 4°C. Nuclease-free water and a
T. evansi-positive sample were used as negative and posi-
tive control, respectively, in all PCR runs. e amplified
PCR products were analysed by electrophoresis in a 1.5%
agarose gel at 100–120 V for 60min. Quick Loading 100
bp DNA ladder (New England BioLabs) was included
on each gel, stained with ethidium bromide, and finally
visualized under ultraviolet (UV) illuminator (UVITEC,
Cambridge, UK).
Sequencing andphylogenetic analysis
Amplicons (~ 400bp) obtained from two Trypanosoma-
positive samples were sequenced in both directions by
the Sanger method and were assembled using Geneious
Prime® 2019.1. Consensus sequences were subjected to
BLASTn analysis [19] for determining the identity with
the sequences deposited in the GenBank database.
e Trypanosoma ITS1 region sequences (GenBank:
MH885470, MH885471) were aligned with sequences
from GenBank using ClustalW [20] and alignments were
improved using GUIDANCE2 [21]. e best-fit model of
nucleotide substitution was determined using jModeltest
v.2.1.10 [22] and was set as F81+G in the maximum like-
lihood (ML) phylogenetic estimation on the CIPRES Sci-
ence Gateway [23], including 1000 bootstrap replicates.
e resulting tree was visualized using FigTree software
version 1.4.3 [24] and the final layout was rendered using
Inkscape version 0.92.3 [25].
Data management andanalysis
e PCV data were not normally distributed (Shap-
iro–Wilk normality test, W = 0.98, P = 0.018). ere-
fore, a non-parametric Mann–Whitney test was
used to compare the PCV concentration between
Trypanosoma-infected and non-infected camels. Either
Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test was used to assess asso-
ciation of the individual variables (district and produc-
tion system) with Trypanosoma spp. infection. Odds
ratio (OR), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and P-val-
ues were calculated, and results were considered signifi-
cant when P < 0.05. Data were compiled and analysed by
Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25
(IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA).
All samples were negative for Trypanosoma spp. by
STDM. A total of 125/182 (68.7%, 95% CI: 61.4–75.3%)
camels were seropositive for T. evansi by CATT/T. evansi.
Camels reared in the nomadic system were more likely
to be seropositive to T. evansi than those reared under
the dairy production system (OR: 5.6, 95% CI: 2.1–15.2,
P = 0.0001). No associations between seropositivity for T.
evansi and the three districts of Somalia evaluated were
found (P > 0.05). e prevalence of Trypanosoma sp. for
each variable evaluated is summarized in Table1.
Five out of 182 (2.7%, 95% CI: 0.9–6.3%) camels tested
positive for Trypanosoma spp. by ITS1-PCR. Concord-
ant results for Trypanosoma spp. presence determined
by CATT/T. evansi and ITS1-PCR were found in three of
182 camels (1.6%, 95% CI: 0.3–4.7%).
e mean PCV concentration for camels was 0.27 l/l. A
total of 61/182 (33.5%, 95% CI: 26.7–40.9%) camels were
anaemic. No statistical difference (U = 2944, Z = 1.89,
P = 0.059) was found in mean PCV between Trypano-
soma-seropositive (0.27 l/l) and Trypanosoma-seronega-
tive camels (0.28 l/l). Association between Trypanosoma
infection and anaemia was not found (χ2 = 1.93, df = 1,
P = 0.165).
Five Trypanosoma-positive samples were sequenced;
however, only two sequences yielded consistent
data. One Trypanosoma-positive sample (GenBank:
MH885471) sequenced showed 99.78% (460/461 bp)
Table 1 Prevalence of camel trypanosomiasis within each variable studied
Abbreviations: +, number of positive animals; n, number of samples; 95% CI, 95% condence interval; OR, odds ratio
Variable CATT /T. evansi ITS1‑PCR
+/nPrevalence (%) (95% CI) P‑value OR (95% CI) +/nPrevalence (%) (95% CI) P‑value OR (95% CI)
Production system
Nomadic 44/49 89.8 (77.8–96.6) 0.0001 (χ2 = 13.9) 5.6 (2.1–15.2) 2/49 4.1 (0.5–14) 0.408 (χ2 = 0.45) 1.8 (0.3–11.4)
Dairy 81/133 60.9 (52.1–69.2) 3/133 2.3 (0.5–6.5)
Daynile 62/87 71.3 (60.6–80.5) 0.242 (χ2 = 1.38) 1.5 (0.8–2.9) 2/87 2.3 (0.3–8.1) 0.502 (χ2 = 0.45) 0.5 (0.09–3.33)
Yaqshid 18/23 78.3 (56.3–92.5) 0.164 (χ2 = 1.94) 2.2 (0.7–6.5) 0/23 0.0 (0.0–14.8) 0.989 (χ2 = 0.32) 0.0
Kahda 45/72 62.5 (50.3–73.6) 3/72 4.2 (0.9–8.8)
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Hassan‑Kadleetal. Parasites Vectors (2019) 12:598
identity to T. evansi ITS1 region sequences detected in
camels from Iran (GenBank: KX898422, KX898423). e
other sequence obtained (GenBank: MH885470) showed
99.25% (398/401 bp) and 98% (393/401 bp) identity with
T. simiae ITS1 region sequence from warthogs (Phaco-
choerus africanus) of Tanzania and Zambia, respectively
(GenBank: JN673387 and JN673386). e phylogenetic
tree based on sequences of the ITS1 region indicated that
T. evansi obtained herein was closely related to T. evansi
detected in camels from Iran, whereas T. simiae detected
in the present study was closely related to T. simiae
detected in warthog from Zambia (Fig.1).
To the author’s knowledge, this is the first study to
combine STDM, serological and molecular detection
of Trypanosoma and assess these results for potential
associations with epidemiological data collected from
camels in Somalia. Herein, overall 69.8% camels from the
Banadir region of Somalia were positive for Trypanosoma
spp. Interestingly, Trypanosoma prevalence found herein
was higher than previous studies performed in camels
from Somalia which have shown prevalence rates rang-
ing from 1.7% to 56.4% by STDM [7, 11] and complement
fixation test [7]. Differences among the prevalence of
Trypanosoma may be explained by the camel population
and management, diagnostic test used, and tsetse sea-
sonal dynamics (rainy vs dry season).
Sequencing of the ITS1 region of the Trypanosoma
species detected herein revealed that camels were
infected with T. evansi and T. simiae (Fig.1). Although
previous studies in Somalia have reported T. evansi, T.
simiae, T. brucei and T. congolense infecting camels by
STDM, the present study is the first to confirm infections
with Trypanosoma spp. in camels in this country by DNA
Trypanosoma congolense from Hyaena (JN673388) – Tanzania
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (JN896755) – Iran
Trypanosoma simiae from Warthog (JN673386) – Zambia
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (KX898423) – Iran
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (KX898422) – Iran
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (FJ712716) – China
Trypanosoma simiae from Camel (MH885470) – Somalia
Trypanosoma simiae from Warthog (JN673387) – Tanzania
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (JN896754) – Iran
Trypanosoma godfreyi from Warthog (JN673385) – Ta nzania
Trypanosoma evansi from Camel (MH885471) – Somalia
Trypanosoma simiae from Warthog (JN673382) – Tanzania
Trypanosoma godfreyi from Warthog (JN673384) – Zambia
Trypanosoma congolense from Lion (JN673389) – Tanzania
Leishmania sp. (EF524071)
Fig. 1 Phylogenetic relationships of Trypanosoma spp. evaluated in camels based on ITS1 region sequence with selected sequences from GenBank
(Accession numbers in the figure). The ITS1 tree was rooted with Leishmania sp. (GenBank: EF524071)
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Hassan‑Kadleetal. Parasites Vectors (2019) 12:598
In the present study, all animals were negative for
Trypanosoma by STDM, while the molecular and sero-
logical prevalence were 2.7% and 68.7%, respectively.
Combining CATT/T. evansi and ITS1-PCR has increased
the prevalence of Trypanosoma to 69.8%, corroborating
with previous studies suggesting that improved sensitiv-
ity and specificity for detection of VBD pathogens can
be achieved using different diagnostic methods [26]. e
difference between the ratio of ITS1-PCR and parasito-
logical method found herein may be explained by low
parasitaemia which is typical for the chronic phase of
infection [27]; this is also supported by the high sero-
prevalence observed indicating that a large proportion of
camels are exposed to the parasite.
Herein, the T. evansi seroprevalence rate was signifi-
cantly higher in nomadic camels as compared to dairy
farm camels (P = 0.0001). Previous studies on Somali
camels have shown that animals living in riverine zones
of the country were more likely to acquire infection by
Trypanosoma species than those living in inland zones
[7]. e camels’ role in the subsistence sector is not pri-
marily for supply of meat and money, but mainly for
provision of milk [7]. Considering that nomadic herders
usually depend on traditional ethno-veterinary remedies
to treat and prevent diseases in their camels [28, 29], the
high T. evansi seroprevalence found herein highlights the
need for implementation of adequate control measures
aiming to reduce the impact of trypanosomes on camel
production in Somalia. On the other hand, dairy animals
evaluated in the present study were frequently examined
by veterinary practitioners and treated with Suramin
(data not shown), which may explain the low seropreva-
lence found.
Trypanosoma evansi is highly prevalent in camels from
the Banadir region of Somalia, particularly in nomadic
herds. To our knowledge, this is the first study to confirm
infections with T. evansi and T. simiae in Somali cam-
els by DNA sequencing. Our data highlight the need for
implementation of adequate control measures aiming to
reduce the impact of trypanosomes on camel production
in the country, which possesses the largest one humped
camel population in the world.
ARTC : Abrar Research and Training Centre; AU: Abrar University; BLAST: basic
local alignment search tool; CATT : card agglutination test for trypanosomia‑
sis; CI: confidence interval; DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid; GOHi: Global One
Health Initiative; ITS: internal transcribed spacer; ML: maximum likelihood;
NTTCP: National Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control Project; OR: odds ratio;
PCR: polymerase chain reaction; PCV: packed cell volume; SPSS: statistical
package for social sciences; STDM: standard trypanosome detection methods;
UV: ultraviolet; VBD: vector‑borne diseases; VVBDI: Vector and Vector Borne
Diseases Institute.
The authors thank Dr. Ehab Mossaad, Sudan University of Science and
Technology, Sudan for providing CATT/T. evansi kits. We also thank the team
at VVBDI, Tanzania for their molecular services. The Brazilian National Council
of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) provided a fellowship of
research productivity (PQ) to Dr. Rafael Vieira.
Authors’ contributions
AAHK, AMI and RFCV designed the study. AAHK, AMI and AAY collected the
data. AAHK and AMI curated the data. AAHK, AMI, AAY, HSN, TSWJV and RFCV
carried out the methodology. AAHK, AMI, AAY and TSWJV performed the data
analysis. AAHK, AMI, HSN and RFCV drafted the manuscript. All authors read
and approved the final manuscript.
This study was financially supported by the Abrar University, Somalia, with Ref‑
erence number AURG02012015. The sponsor had no role in the design of the
study, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing the manuscript
and the decision to submit the article for publication.
Availability of data and materials
Data supporting the conclusions of this article are provided within the article.
Sequences were submitted to the GenBank database under the Accession
numbers MH885470 and MH885471 for Trypanosoma ITS1 region of T. simiae
and T. evansi, respectively.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
This study was approved by the ethical committee of Abrar University, Somalia
(Reference number AU/ARTC/EC/02/2015). All camel owners gave consent to
sample their animals.
Consent for publication
Not applicable.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Author details
1 Abrar Research and Training Centre, Abrar University, Mogadishu, Somalia.
2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba,
PR, Brazil. 3 Vector and Vector Borne Diseases Institute, Tanga, Tanzania. 4 Global
One Health Initiative (GOHi), The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
Received: 30 July 2019 Accepted: 14 December 2019
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... Camels are vital domestic animals best adapted to the harsh environment and varied nutritional conditions of arid and extremely arid areas of Asia and Africa, particularly in the arid lowlands of East African countries, such as Sudan [1], Ethiopia [2], Somalia [3], and Kenya [4]. In Ethiopia's arid regions, camels perform various vital functions, including transporting items like grain, water, salt, and other goods, in addition to producing milk and meat for human consumption [5]. ...
... evansi). In addition to T. evansi, T. simiae was also detected in the molecular analysis [3]. Similarly, a higher prevalence of 37% for T. evansi was found in a Sudanese study using molecular technique, compared with 7% in Giemsastained thin smear. ...
Full-text available
Camel trypanosomosis is a life-threatening disease with adverse effects on camel health, production, and working efficiency. Despite this, camel trypanosomosis has received much less attention in Ethiopia compared with the disease in cattle and other animals. This cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of camel trypanosomosis, identify the potential risk factors, and determine the importance of trypanosomosis in causing anemia in camels in the Gorodola and Liben districts in the Guji Zone of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia. To this end, blood samples were collected from randomly selected 450 camels in heparinized capillary tubes and analyzed for the presence of Trypanosoma evansi using the buffy coat technique and Giemsa-stained thin smears. T. evansi infection was detected in 24 (5.3%) of the 450 camels examined. Out of the four variables analyzed in this study, two factors, such as body condition (BC) score and age, were found to be significantly (P0.05). Statistically, the mean packed cell volume was significantly lower (P
... In other countries, the prevalence of Trypanosoma species using microscopic detection were 0.8% [26] and 30.9% [27] in Saudi Arabia; 1.7% in Kuwait [28], 13% in Iran [29], 14% in Algeria [30]; 4.25% in Egypt [31]; 4.4% in Ethiopia [32]; 5.3% in Kenya [15]; 33% in Jordan [33]; 14.1%-1.7% in Sudan [34,35]; 6.55%-13.7% in Pakistan [36,37]; and 30% in Palestine [38]. In Somalia, the prevalence of Trypanosoma using microscopic examination was negative but positive using PCR [39]. The variation in the prevalence amongst countries around the world exists due to variations in the climate, hosts and blood samplings. ...
... The overall preva-lence was 31.6% in five governorates. Our results were lower than that detected in Sudan, which was 35.6% [39]. In Somalia, 5 out of 182 (2.7%, 95% Cl: 0.9-6.3%) ...
Full-text available
Camel trypanosomoses is considered a devastating disease with severe health consequences that can be caused by different hemoprotozoan parasites. Camel samples (388) from the five regions in Northern Oman were assessed using a thin blood film. In addition, 95 seropositive samples were analyzed using various primers of mechanically transmitted trypanosomes. Out of the 388 blood smears examined, 0.8% (CI 95%, 2/388) were found to be positive for Trypanosoma sp. using a microscope. The parasitologically positive cases were detected in samples from females. The overall molecular prevalences were as follows: TBR was 78/95, 77% (CI 73.1–89.2%); ITS was 30/95, 31.6% (CI 73.1–89.2%); and T. evansi type A (RoTat 1.2) was 8/95, 8.4% (CI 4.0–16.0%). There were two species of trypanosomes that were observed in the camels
... In contrast, PCR has the capacity to identify and amplify low quantities of parasite DNA in the bloodstream 34,36 . Furthermore, chronic infections may remain false negative with parasitological (TBS) and PCR examinations; however, successful treatment may result in serological (CATT) false positive as antibodies persist in circulation for several months 37,38 . ...
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Surra is a non-cyclic parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma evansi (T. evansi) and spread by biting flies. The disease has a severe impact on camel health, productivity, and market value, posing a significant threat to food safety and the economy. In a cross-sectional study, 370 blood samples were collected from camels in three Egyptian governorates. Samples were tested using parasitological (thin blood smear (TBS)), card agglutination test for T. evansi (CATT), and PCR to estimate the prevalence of T. evansi infection. Overall, the prevalence of T. evansi among examined camels was 17.3%, 18.9% and 22.7% using TBS, CATT and PCR methods, respectively. The risk of T. evansi infection in older camels (> 10 years) is higher than that in young ones (odds ratio (OR) = 9; 95% CI: 3.5-23.1), particularly during spring (OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.1-5.7). Furthermore, females and poor conditioned camels were 2.6 and four times more likely to get infection than males and good conditioned camels, respectively. The level of agreement between diagnostics tests were perfect kappa (> 0.83). Moreover, CATT showed higher sensitivity (0.83; 95% CI: 0.74-0.91) than TBS (0.76; 95% CI: 0.66-0.85) and both had perfect specificity (100%). In conclusion, our findings revealed a high rate of T. evansi infection in camels from the three Egyptian governorates. The CATT is a good test for routine use in control program of trypanosomiasis in camels.
... T. evansi is widespread, and high seroprevalence was in Somalia (68,7%), Sudan (52,2%), and Southeastern Algeria (49,5%) (Babeker and Hassab Elrasoul, 2014;Benaissa et al., 2020;Kadle et al., 2019), with a signaled presence in all African countries, and a continued spreading to the Middle East and South-East Asia (Desquesnes et al., 2013). In Tunisia, despite the large population of camels and the reported outbreaks of trypanosomiasis, the disease is poorly documented and is underestimated. ...
Full-text available
Surra (Trypanosoma evansi infection) is one of the main causes of dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) abortion, besides generating severe economic losses in herds. A sero-epidemiological survey was carried out between December 2018 and December 2019 in Southern Tunisia to estimate the seroprevalence of Trypanosoma evansi infection in camels and to determine its possible associated risk factors. Two-stage sampling was conducted to select breeders and camels targeted in our study. A total of 1205 blood samples were collected from 277 randomly selected farms belonging to six governorates of southern Tunisia. Sera were tested with the card agglutination test for Trypanosoma evansi (CATT/T. evansi) to detect the presence of anti-Trypanosoma. evansi antibodies. The overall individual and herd seroprevalence were 30.8% (95%CI 27.9–33.1%), 64.9% (95%CI 61.7–73), respectively. The seroprevalence of T. evansi infection both at the animal (26.2% (95%CI 21.4–30.9%) and herd level (84.4 (95%CI 76.3–92.5)) was higher in Kebili than in other governorates (P = 0.003). At the animal level, the infection rate with T. evansi was significantly associated to the age group among camels (P = 0.0008), production system (P = 0.006), bioclimatic stage (P = 0.02), and herd size (P = 0.04) in the univariable analysis. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that only age group and herd size were potential risk factors associated with Trypanosoma evansi infection. However, no significant variation of the seroprevalence of T. evansi with the sex of camels, farm type, and previous trypanocidal treatment were detected (P > 0.05). The findings of this study are crucial for this disease surveillance and control. Further investigations on the efficacy of the treatment against surra are needed to explain the persistence of the disease in the south of Tunisia.
Full-text available
Trypanosomiasis is one of the most pathogenic infections of livestock caused by several Trypanosoma species, causing severe economic losses and severe illness by affecting both animals and humans. The main objective of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence and the risk factors associated with trypanosomiasis in District Jhang, Punjab, Pakistan. For this purpose, blood samples were randomly collected from 200 camels. The questionnaires were used to collect data on risk factors associated with trypanosomiasis before the sample collection. All samples were initially screened by thin smear microscopy and Formol gel test. Later, these samples were further processed by ELISA. The seroprevalence detected by microscopy 22.5% (45/200), Formol-Gel test 37.7% (17/45), and ELISA 44.4% (20/45). The seroprevalence was higher in male camels as compared to females. The variance between the microscopy, the Formol-Gel test and the ELISA test is possibly due to the degradation of antibodies in the spotted samples held at ambient temperature for several weeks. Our study supports the use of antibody detection tests to determine "Surra" prevalence in camels rather than parasitological and molecular analysis. This study will help the higher authorities and researchers to take effective control measures against this disease.
Full-text available
Trypanosomiasis is one of the severe pathogenic infections, caused by several Trypanosoma species, affecting both animals and humans, causing substantial economic losses and severe illness. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular diagnosis and the risk factors associated with trypanosomiasis in District Jhang, Punjab, Pakistan. For this purpose, blood samples were randomly collected from 200 horses. A predesigned questionnaire was used to collect data on risk factors before the sample collection. The microscopy examination through Giemsa staining, formol gel test and PCR techniques were used to find the prevalence. The prevalence was recorded as 22.5% with microscopy examination, 21% through formol gel test and 15.5% with PCR based results. Analysis of risk factors associated with Trypanosoma brucei evansi occurrence was carried out using Chi-square test. It showed the prevalence of Trypanosoma brucei evansi was significantly (p<0.05) associated with sex, age, rearing purpose and body condition whereas non-significantly (p>0.05) with insects control practices. This study supports the idea that PCR is a sensitive, robust and more reliable technique to diagnose trypanosomiasis. It was concluded that Trypanosoma brucei evansi is widely prevalent in Jhang (Pakistan), highlighting a dire need to develop control strategies and education programmes to control this disease in developing countries.
Hemotropic mycoplasmas (hemoplasmas) are small Gram-negative bacteria that parasitize red blood cells and can cause mild to severe anemia in a wide range of vertebrates, including ruminants. Cattle population in Somalia is around 3.9 million heads, with animals more concentrated around the river areas, mainly in the Juba River and Shabelle River Valleys. Information on hemoplasmas in Sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, mainly in Somalia, where no studies have been performed to date. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess the molecular occurrence of hemoplasmas in 131 cattle blood samples from Somalia. Thirty out of 131 (22.90%; 95% CI: 16.54-30.81%) cattle were infested by ticks: Rhipicephalus pulchellus (68.18%), Amblyomma gemma (18.18%), Amblyomma lepidum (9.09%), Hyalomma marginatum (1.51%), Hyalmomma rufipes (1.51%), and Rhipicephalus pravus (1.51%). A total of 74/131 (56.48%; 95% CI: 47.93-64.67%) cattle were positive for hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. by real-time PCR (qPCR) based on the 16S rRNA gene. Hemoplasma-positive samples were later subjected to species-specific PCR assays for Mycoplasma wenyonii and ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haematobovis’ based on the 16S rRNA gene. A total of 34/74 (45.94%; 95% CI: 35.07-57.22%) animals were coinfected by both species; 31/74 (41.89%; 95% CI: 31.32-53.26%) and 3/74 (4.05%; 95% CI: 01.39-11.25%) cattle were solely positive to M. wenyonii and ‘Ca. M. haematobovis’, respectively. Six out of 74 (8.1%; 95% CI: 03.77-16.58%) cattle were negative on species-specific conventional PCR assays but tested positive by a semi-nested PCR assay based on the 16S rRNA gene of hemoplasmas. Sequencing of the detected hemotropic Mycoplasma sp. 16S rRNA gene confirmed that animals were infected by M. wenyonii and ‘Ca. M. haematobovis’. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the detection of hemoplasmas in cattle from Somalia.
Camels are the most adapted species to the harsh ecosystems of the African continent where they represent 80% of world's population. However, they can be susceptible to many pathogens such as Trypanosoma evansi. This parasite is widely distributed in Africa and represents a real threat to animal health and production. In Tunisia, despite its importance, this disease is underestimated and only a few data are available. The present study aims to investigate the prevalence of the disease by combining microscopic and serological tests. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 307 dromedary camels randomly selected from Southern Tunisia. Collected blood samples were microscopically examined and tested with Card Agglutination Trypanosomiasis Test to detect anti-T. evansi antibodies. The microscopic and serological prevalence were estimated at 2.93 and 62.54%, respectively. Microscopic examination showed morphological features of T. evansi. All positives samples were collected from aged males (>5 years old). Seroprevalence was similar for both sexes but it was higher in dry season and in the southwest of Tunisia. The present study revealed high prevalence of T. evansi infection among dromedary camels. This highlights the need for adequate control measures based on the detection and treatment of infected animals and vector control. We recommend investigating the prevalence of infection in other domestic animals living in the same environment.
Evaluating a blood smear is an important part of a complete blood count, especially for sick animals, because some hematologic abnormalities are recognized only on the blood smear. In contrast to red blood cells, there are few unique morphologic features of camelid leukocytes. Camelid platelets are small, discoid to irregular in shape, have clear cytoplasm, and contain multiple azurophilic granules. Immunodeficiency syndrome in juvenile llamas is characterized by low numbers of B‐lymphocytes and low immunoglobulin concentration in peripheral blood. Chemistry panels can be performed using serum or heparin. It is important to use species specific reference intervals for clinical biochemistries for llamas, alpacas, and other camelids. Analysis of peritoneal and pleural fluid includes assessment of color and clarity, protein determination, and evaluation of stained smears of the fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis is helpful in the diagnostic workup of animals with evidence of disease involving the central nervous system or fever of unknown origin.
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Background The pastoral lifestyle of Indigenous communities of Bajaur Agency is bringing them close to natural remedies for treating their domestic animals. Several studies have been conducted across the globe describing the importance of traditional knowledge in veterinary care. Therefore, this study was planned with the aim to record knowledge on ethnoveterinary practices from the remote areas and share sit with other communities through published literature. Methods Data was gathered from community members through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to evaluate the consent of current ethnoveterinary practices among the local people. ResultsIn total, 73 medicinal plants were recorded under the ethnoveterinary practices. Most widely used medicinal plants with maximum use reports (URs) were Visnaga daucoides Gaertn., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Solanum virginianum L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Curcuma longa L. New medicinal values were found with confidential level of citations for species including Heracleum candicans and Glycerhiza glabra. Family Apiaceae was the utmost family with high number (7 species) of medicinal plants. Maximum number of medicinal plants (32) was used for gastric problems. High Fic was recorded for dermatological (0.97) followed by reproductive (0.93) and gastrointestinal disorders (0.92). The main route of remedies administration was oral. Conclusions Current study revealed that the study area has sufficient knowledge on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. This knowledge is in the custody of nomadic grazers, herders, and aged community members. Plants with new medicinal uses need to be validated phytochemically and pharmacologically for the development of new alternative drugs for veterinary purposes.
Full-text available
Inference of multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) is a critical part of phylogenetic and comparative genomics studies. However, from the same set of sequences different MSAs are often inferred, depending on the methodologies used and the assumed parameters. Much effort has recently been devoted to improving the ability to identify unreliable alignment regions. Detecting such unreliable regions was previously shown to be important for downstream analyses relying on MSAs, such as the detection of positive selection. Here we developed GUIDANCE2, a new integrative methodology that accounts for: (i) uncertainty in the process of indel formation, (ii) uncertainty in the assumed guide tree and (iii) co-optimal solutions in the pairwise alignments, used as building blocks in progressive alignment algorithms. We compared GUIDANCE2 with seven methodologies to detect unreliable MSA regions using extensive simulations and empirical benchmarks. We show that GUIDANCE2 outperforms all previously developed methodologies. Furthermore, GUIDANCE2 also provides a set of alternative MSAs which can be useful for downstream analyses. The novel algorithm is implemented as a web-server, available at: © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
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Trypanosomosis is one of the major diseases hindering livestock production in Africa. Many studies have been carried out on the prevalence of the disease in cattle but very little has been done in small ruminants. In Tanzania several reports have been written on livestock diseases in the country, but with very little attention to diseases of small ruminants. The study was undertaken in goats in selected farms in Morogoro, Tanzania, between June and August 2006. The aim was to establish the prevalence rate of trypanosomosis in naturally infected goats and to determine awareness of livestock keepers on the factors contributing to the existence and magnitude of the infection. The methods used included administration of a pre-tested questionnaire to 28 farmers and laboratory diagnosis using thick and thin blood smears as well as buffy coat for the examination of the blood. A total of 243 goats were sampled, but none of the goats were found to be parasitologically positive for trypanosomosis. The absence of trypanosomes in goats may be due to the control methods used, which included both anti-trypanocidal drugs use and tsetse control. The questionnaire administered to the livestock keepers revealed that most of the livestock keepers in the study area were adults with primary education level with most of them keeping goats and some combining with cattle at the flock size range between 11-20 animals. The major problems hindering livestock production in the study area included water and land scarcity, conflict between livestock keepers and diseases of which the major ones according to them were worm infestation and trypanosomosis. The disease control regime in the area included deworming using Milsan® and Albendazole and prophylaxis using Samorin®at the intervals of three months. A new disease control regime should be /designed in the area to control the disease effectively after having the correct data for production, management, prophylaxis and treatment. This will be obtained through developing proper recording system, laboratory diagnosis, and deployment of traps to establish existence of tsetse in the area.
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Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD) are caused by a diverse array of pathogens with varying biological behaviors that result in a wide spectrum of clinical presentations and laboratory abnormalities. For many reasons, the diagnosis of canine vector-borne infectious diseases can be challenging for clinicians. The aim of the present study was to compare CVBD serological and molecular testing, as the two most common methodologies used for screening healthy dogs or diagnosing sick dogs, in which a vector-borne disease is suspected. We used serological (Anaplasma species, Babesia canis, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis, and SFG Rickettsia) and molecular assays to assess for exposure to, or infection with, 10 genera of organisms that cause CVBDs (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, Francisella, hemotropic Mycoplasma, Neorickettsia, Rickettsia, and Dirofilaria ). Paired serum and EDTA blood samples from 30 clinically healthy dogs (Group I) and from 69 sick dogs suspected to have one or more canine vector-borne diseases (Groups II-IV), were tested in parallel to establish exposure to, or infection with the specific CVBDs targeted in this study. Among all dogs tested (Groups I-IV), the molecular prevalences for individual CVBD pathogens ranged between 23.3 and 39.1%. Similarly, pathogen-specific seroprevalences ranged from 43.3% to 59.4% among healthy and sick dogs (Groups I-IV). Among these representative sample groupings, a panel combining serological and molecular assays run in parallel resulted in a 4-58% increase in the recognition of exposure to, or infection with CVBD. We conclude that serological and PCR assays should be used in parallel to maximize CVBD diagnosis.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding the evolutionary history of living organisms is a central problem in biology. Until recently the ability to infer evolutionary relationships was limited by the amount of DNA sequence data available, but new DNA sequencing technologies have largely removed this limitation. As a result, DNA sequence data are readily available or obtainable for a wide spectrum of organisms, thus creating an unprecedented opportunity to explore evolutionary relationships broadly and deeply across the Tree of Life. Unfortunately, the algorithms used to infer evolutionary relationships are NP-hard, so the dramatic increase in available DNA sequence data has created a commensurate increase in the need for access to powerful computational resources. Local laptop or desktop machines are no longer viable for analysis of the larger data sets available today, and progress in the field relies upon access to large, scalable high-performance computing resources. This paper describes development of the CIPRES Science Gateway, a web portal designed to provide researchers with transparent access to the fastest available community codes for inference of phylogenetic relationships, and implementation of these codes on scalable computational resources. Meeting the needs of the community has included developing infrastructure to provide access, working with the community to improve existing community codes, developing infrastructure to insure the portal is scalable to the entire systematics community, and adopting strategies that make the project sustainable by the community. The CIPRES Science Gateway has allowed more than 1800 unique users to run jobs that required 2.5 million Service Units since its release in December 2009. (A Service Unit is a CPU-hour at unit priority).
Camel trypanosomosis (surra), caused by Trypanosoma evansi, is the most important single cause of morbidity and mortality in camels. The disease, transmitted non-cyclically by other haematophagus flies (e.g. Tabanus) is endemic in Africa, Asia and South America, and in addition to camels other species of domesticated livestock are affected. Because of the wide geographic range of surra, its control has attracted international attention, with a focus on formulating and implementing effective strategies aimed at increasing productivity and achieving a decrease in mortality and morbidity. In this review, the clinico-pathological effects of surra are presented, as their understanding may help in the design of effective control. Anaemia appears to be a major component of the pathology of surra. Its development and persistence in the course of the disease induce anoxic conditions which manifest signs of dysfunction in various organs as a result of a fall in tissue pH and vascular damage. This is followed by the release of large quantities of cytoplasmic and mitochondrial enzymes, especially aspartate alanine transferase (AST) and alanine transferase (ALT), among others, into serum, causing further cellular and tissue damage. The net effect associated with the above changes is immunosuppression which later develops and predisposes the animals to other infections and death if untreated. Therefore, emphasis is placed on accurate diagnosis of surra, treatment with effective trypanocidal drugs such as trypan and the use of vector control methods in the control and management of this disease.