Tick-borne disease infections in the traditional cattle farming system in Same District, Tanzania
A cross-sectional study was conducted between December 2013 and February 2014 in randomly selected four wards, eight villages, 96 cattle herds and 288 animals in western lowland zone of Same district in order to evaluate livestock keepers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to tickborne diseases and to determine infection status. Sociological data were collected using a semistructured questionnaire and the status of tick borne diseases was determined through clinical examination of animals and parasitological assessment of blood and lymph node smears. Respondents reported the major production constraints to be pasture scarcity (87.5%), livestock diseases (70.8%) and water shortage (33.3%). Tick-borne diseases (77.1%) constituted the major cattle health constraint in particular East Coast fever (78.1%), anaplasmosis (53.1%) and babesiosis (37.5%). Hand spraying (72.5%) and pour on (23.8%) methods were the methods used in the control of TBDs and this was done either once per month (65.6%) or fortnightly (34.4%). Theileria parva species were detected in 61.5% of the herds and 28.5% of the animals. The percentages of East Coast fever-infected herds (p = 0.0000252) and animals (p = 0.000842) that were sprayed once per month were significantly higher than those sprayed fortnightly. No Anaplasma and Babesia species were detected in the smears. This suggests that East Coast fever is the most important tick-borne disease. The apparent low community's motivation to adopt the dipping scheme which has been revived through government support calls for further investigation.
Keywords: Acaricides, dipping, prevalence, tick-borne diseases