Trypanosomiasis, transmitted by the tsetse fly, adversely affects animal production in an area of humid and sub-humid Africa larger than the United States. However small populations of cattle, sheep and goats tolerant to the disease are found in some parts of Africa. If these trypanotolerant animals are to play their part in meeting West and Central Africa's large and growing demand for meat and milk, more precise information is needed on their genetic and acquired resistance, on environmental factors affecting susceptibility, and on the efficacy of control measures.
A major component of research on trypanotolerant livestock is to evaluate their productivity in the traditional village production system, under different levels of quantified tsetse challenge. Another major task is to define selection criteria for trypanotolerance, so that optimal breeding programmes may be devised to maximize the rate of genetic progress. The costs and benefits of selected tsetse-control measures, and their inter actions with prophylactic drugs, need to be evaluated; effective control measures will help reduce disease risk and increase tolerance, thereby contributing to efforts to increase livestock output in tsetse-affected areas. Poor nutrition is assumed to be a primary constraint to livestock performance in the tropics in general; in the tsetse-affected areas there may be an important interaction between nutritional level and trypanosomiasis risk, infection intensity, maintenance of blood values in response to infection, and performance traits. Nutritional interventions therefore could represent an important means to improve livestock productivity in these areas.
The African Trypanotolerant Livestock Network (ATLN), in collaboration with national research and development institutions and with private organizations, groups together scientists studying these aspects of the health and production of livestock in tsetse-affected areas of Africa. Since it is impossible to cover the many components involved at a single or eves at a few sites, an extensive Network has been developed. Research covers all the major aspects of trypanosomiasis and its control but concentrates on the utilization of trypanotolerant livestock.
This report presents the proceedings of an ATLN meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 1987; it covers a wide range of aspects of livestock production in tsetse-affected areas of Africa. The principal aims of the meeting were to present and discuss current information being obtained within the Network, under the topics of tsetse, trypanosomiasis epidemiology, trypanotolerance, biological productivity, chemotherapy, economics, and genetics of trypanotolerance. As the papers presented were Dot intended to provide comprehensive coverage of these topics, specialists in each were invited to review their areas of interest.
The meeting was organized jointly by the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD). ILCA and ILRAD are two of thirteen centres in a worldwide agricultural research network sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Financial support is or has been provided to one or both centres by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Abstracts in French and English of each of the papers contained herein were published earlier by ILCA/ILRAD in "Livestock Production in Tsetse-Affected Areas of Africa, Programme and Abstracts." A French translation of these Proceedings will be forthcoming by the end of 1988.
Mrs. Linda ole Moi Yoi is thanked for patiently reading, correcting and editing the manuscripts of this report, as are those who contributed to the preparation of the camera-ready copy, particularly Mrs. Grace Maloba, Ms. Sonal Nagda and Mrs. Agnes Ouattara.