Prevalence of trypanosomiasis in sheep in the Kachia Grazing Reserve, Kachia, Kaduna State, Nigeria
An investigation was carried out in the Kachia grazing reserve in Kaduna, Nigeria, to determine the prevalence of trypanosomiasis among sheep. The reserve has had a history of high prevalence of the disease and farmers in the area are known to ignore the control of trypanosomiasis in sheep and goats and focus more on cattle. The sheep studied showed lacrimation, pale mucous membranes, hair loss, lameness and tick infestation. Blood samples from 110 sheep were collected and examined by using the Standard Trypanosome Detection Method i.e. Haematocrit Centrifugation Technique (HCT),Buffy Coat Method (BCM), and Giemsa stained thick and thin blood films.The packed cell volume (PCV) of each animal was also determined.An overall point prevalence rate of 40.9%(45 positive) was recorded. The average PCV of the infected sheep (19.6±0.45) appeared lower but statistically not significant (p>0.05)than that (18.6±0.51) in those non-infected.The trypanosomes observed were T. congolense (40.0%),T. Brucei (28.8%), T.vivax (17.7%) and mixed infections (13.3%). The potential of small ruminants serving as reservoirs of infection for cattle, insufficiency of professional Veterinary services, absence of alternative trypanosomiasis control methods other than chemotherapy and poor land use practices which forces migration of herds and complicates the control of the disease in the area were discussed.
Keywords: Prevalence, Trypanosomiasis, Sheep, Grazing reserve, Chemotherapy, Reservoir