Efficacy of trypanocidal agents in field conditions in working equidae in The Gambia: a prospective clinical study

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A prospective clinical study using one of three randomised trypanocidal agents. Villages in the Central River District will be selected for diagnostic screening to enable determination of incidence of systemic trypanosomiasis in these equids. Phase 1 Horses and donkeys diagnosed with anaemia, weight loss and/or peripheral buffy coat trypanosomiasis will be treated in a randomised manner with, one of three veterinary approved treatments according to recommended protocols. Detailed historical and clinical evaluation will be performed prior to treatment. Body weight will be estimated by use of donkey weight algorithms. Diagnostic blood samples from affected donkeys will be stored on FTA cards for subsequent PCR analysis and Trypanosoma speciation. Samples will also be prepared for DNA isolations and stored for subsequent qPCR analysis. Phase 2 It is aimed to treat and provide follow-up care and investigation of at least 150 infected donkeys and horses during 2012-2013, such that a minimum of 50 animals are treated with each of the trypanocidal compounds. Assessment of clinical and haematological response to treatment will be made at 1- and 2-weeks after treatment.

  1. To improve treatment protocol for systemic trypanosomiasis in working equidae.
  2. To improve knowledge of expected clinical response to trypanocidal agents in equidae.
  3. To identify incidence of different trypanosome species in the region and determine relative pathogenicity.
  4. To link in with further Masters and PhD projects investigating trypanosomiasis to improve the prevention, control and treatment of this disease.