Because it is very unlikely that new trypanocidal drugs will be released on to the market in the near future, it is essential to try to maintain the efficacy of the currently available drugs. The most important and most efficient measure is to adopt an integrated disease management strategy.
Furthermore, better data (instead of case reports) are required on both the true prevalence of trypanocide resistance and its impact on the productivity of livestock. In order to allow a reliable comparison of the data on a temporal and spatial basis, it is of crucial importance that tests for drug resistance are carried out across Africa according to standardized protocols. This is the case for antimalarials, antibiotics, anthelmintics, etc. for which standardized tests have been established. There is also a need for better understanding of the ways that farmers and veterinary assistants are using trypanocides. There are indications, for instance, that diminazene is used more and more frequently, whereas the use of ISMM is decreasing. The criteria farmers use to decide whether or not to treat an animal and when they select a particular trypanocide are not known.
In order to understand the phenomenon of drug resistance, more research is needed into the mechanisms and the genetics of resistance. Computer models that allow the prediction of the efficacy of certain measures to delay resistance are also very useful tools as shown by Cross and Singer (1991), Hastings (1997) or Barnes, Dobson and Barger (1995) in the field of malaria and anthelmintic resistance respectively. Finally, there is an urgent need for better surveillance. Currently it is not known whether the increase of the number of resistance reports is owing to a higher prevalence of resistance or simply to a growing interest in drug resistance by scientists. Collection of baseline data through well functioning monitoring systems is essential in order to allow the right measures to be taken at the right time.