African Journal of Biotechnology

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About factors that determine trypanotolerance and prospects for increasing resistance against trypanosomosis

JN Abenga, D Vuza


The current threat of African trypanosomosis on sustainable livestock production and food security coupled with failure of tse-tse fly control, chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis to control the present resurgence of the disease has increased the imperative need for increasing trypanotolerance in livestock. The innate ability of trypanosome infected animals to control anaemia and development of parasitaemia are some of the indicators of trypanotolerance. In the last few years, research had aimed at identifying the various factors involved in trypanotolerance. Even though haematopoietic and antitrypanosome serum lytic factors have been associated with ability to control the development of anaemia and parasite respectively, trypanotolerance is a genetically defined complex mechanism involving factors which are not yet well known. Recent molecular based research using mice and cattle identified genomic regions controlling trypanotolerance in animals. Although these biotechnologies have not been able to identify the complete  pool of genes involved in trypanotolerance, they have raised the hope of producing synthetic breeds of animals with higher trypanotolerance level, and enhancing the tolerance of susceptible breeds.

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