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The effect of trypanosomosis on pregnancy in trypanotolerant Orma Boran cattle

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Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Health & Diseases
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Alusha, A.H.; Dolan, R.B.; Luckins, A.G.; Okech, G.; Omuse, J.K.; Stevenson, P.; Watson, E.D.
Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute

A study was undertaken to investigate the influence of trypanosomosis on the outcome of pregnancy in trypanotolerant Orma Boran (Bos indicus) exposed to natural tsetse challenge in an area of Kenya infested predominantly with Glossina pallidipes. Of 73 pregnant Orma heifers, 58 (79.5%) produced live calves at term, 13 (17.8%) aborted and 2 (2.7%) died of trypanosomosis. Of the 71 surviving animals, 22 (31%) were infected with Trypanosoma vivax, 21 (29.6%) T. Congo Republiclense and 26 (36.6%) had mixed infections with both species. These results suggest that in areas of high trypanosomosis risk reproductive function is affected even in trypanotolerant cattle, and that both T. vivax and T. Congo Republiclense can be responsible for the abortions observed in the field. It is suggested that maintenance of pregnancy in the face of trypanosome challenge was dependent on individual variation among the Orma cattle, but as challenge increased beyond the limits of effectiveness of trypanotolerance, disruption of pregnancy occurred.