Analysis of host genetic factors influencing African trypanosome species infection in a cohort of Tanzanian Bos indicus cattle

E.D. Karimuribo, D.M. Kambarage, L.J. Morrison, A. Black, C.M.R. Turner, K.T. Ballingall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trypanosomosis caused by infection with protozoan parasites of the genus Trypanosoma is a major health constraint to cattle production in many African countries. One hundred and seventy one Bos indicus cattle from traditional pastoral Maasai (87) and more intensively managed Boran (84) animals in Tanzania were screened by PCR for the presence of African animal trypanosomes (Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanosoma brucei), using blood samples archived on FTA cards. All cattle screened for trypanosomes were also genotyped at the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II DRB3 locus to investigate possible associations between host MHC and trypanosome infection. Overall, 23.4% of the 171 cattle tested positive for at least one of the three trypanosome species. The prevalence of individual trypanosome species was 8.8% (T. congolense), 4.7% (T. vivax) and 15.8% (T. brucei). The high prevalence of T. brucei compared with T. congolense and T. vivax was unexpected as this species has previously been considered to be of lesser importance in terms of African bovine trypanosomosis. Significantly higher numbers of Maasai cattle were infected with T. brucei (23.0%, p=0.009) and T. congolense (13.8%, p=0.019) compared with Boran cattle (8.3% and 3.6%, respectively). Analysis of BoLA-DRB3 diversity in this cohort identified extensive allelic diversity. Thirty-three BoLA-DRB3 PCR-RFLP defined alleles were identified. One allele (DRB3*15) was significantly associated with an increased risk (odds ratio, OR. =2.71, p=0.034) of T. brucei infection and three alleles (DRB3*35, *16 and *23) were associated with increased risk of T. congolense infection. While further work is required to dissect the role of these alleles in susceptibility to T. brucei and T. congolense infections, this study demonstrates the utility of FTA archived blood samples in combined molecular analyses of both host and pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of host genetic factors influencing African trypanosome species infection in a cohort of Tanzanian Bos indicus cattle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this