Molecular characterisation of cerebral trypanosomiasis in working equidae in The Gambia

Start date
End date

Prospective clinical assessment, post mortem tissue collection for future trypanosome RNA isolation. Analysis for the presence of specific mutations found in T.b.evansi / T.b.equiperdum subspecies. Further development of histological grading system.

  • Is the neurological disease cerebral trypanosomiasis caused by a sexually transmitted subspecies of T. brucei, rather than by tsetse transmission?
  • Could the condition be controlled by effective breeding policies?
  • Can an effective protocol be developed for the treatment of equine cerebral trypanosomiasis?

1. Improved knowledge of the subspecific aetiology, route of transmission and epidemiological spread of neurological equine trypanosomiasis. 2. Establishment of a specific laboratory standard technique for differentiation of sexually transmitted trypanosome species from tsetse or alternative vector spread species. This will be of international benefit in distinguishing route of transmission. The international IFAT in current usage does not distinguish dourine from either nagana or surra as there is cross reactivity. 3. Production of a histopathological grading system for equine cerebral trypanosomiasis. 4. Production and initial implementation of an improved control strategy for the prevention of cerebral trypanosomiasis in this region of Africa, with consequent welfare and economic benefits.