The trypanosomes of pigs in Arusha, Tanzania.

Louise Hamill, Kim Picozzi, Susan Welburn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract / Description of output

In Uganda domestic cows are thought to be the main reservoirs of human infective T. b. rhodesiense, however, the roles of other domestic animals cannot be discounted. In this study we look at the levels of trypanosome infection in domestic pigs in Tanzania as well as the role these animals may play as potential reservoirs of cattle and human infective trypanosomes.

To ascertain if pigs have the potential to act as reservoirs for human and/or animal trypanosomiasis, this study investigated the prevalence of trypanosomes in domestic pigs from the Arusha region of Northern Tanzania. Blood samples collected on Whatman FTA cards underwent PCR based methods for the detection of parasite DNA.

Of the 168 domestic pigs tested, 28 (16.7%) were found to be infected with one or more species of trypanosome. These included 5 T. vivax infections, 3 T. simiae, 9 T. b. brucei, 8 T. b rhodesiense, and 4 suspected T. godfreyi infections.

These results show that domestic pigs have the potential to act as reservoirs for T. vivax and T. brucei s.l. infection in cattle, and more importantly as potential reservoirs for T. b. rhodesiense, the causative agent of human sleeping sickness.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventBritish Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting 2009 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Apr 20098 Apr 2009


ConferenceBritish Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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