Cattle, buffaloes and horses in several areas of Indonesia were examined for evidence of infection with Trypanosoma evansi by the microhaematocrit centrifugation technique (MHCT) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of antibodies to T. evansi.
Evidence of infection was found in animals at each sampling site although differences were seen in prevalence rates between sites. Prevalence rates in buffalo were usually higher than in cattle in the same area while in horses they were much lower than in cattle or buffalo. An age-dependent prevalence rate was seen in buffalo and cattle with the highest rates seen in animals older than 2 years.
These results concur with the view that T. evansi infection is widespread throughout most of the livestock-producing areas of Indonesia. The apparent lack of any obvious disease owing to T. evansi infection in the sampled animals suggests that a form of stability exists in most endemic areas which serves to ameliorate the effect of T. evansi infection and has an immunological basis linked to the parasite’s limited antigenic diversity.