Programme de lutte contre la trypanosomose africaine (PLTA)

The national atlas of tsetse flies and African animal trypanosomosis in Ethiopia



With the largest cattle population in Africa and vast swathes of fertile lands infested by tsetse flies, trypanosomosis is a major challenge for Ethiopian farmers. Managing the problem strategically and rationally requires comprehensive and detailed information on disease and vector distribution at the national level. To this end, the National Institute for Control and Eradication of Tsetse and Trypanosomosis (NICETT) developed a national atlas of tsetse and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) for Ethiopia.

This first edition of the atlas focused on the tsetse-infested areas in western Ethiopia. Data were collected between 2010 and 2019 in the framework of national surveillance and control activities. Over 88,000 animals, mostly cattle, were tested with the buffy-coat technique (BCT). Odour-enhanced traps were deployed in approximately 14,500 locations for the entomological surveys. Animal- and trap-level data were geo-referenced, harmonized and centralized in a single database.

AAT occurrence was confirmed in 86% of the districts surveyed (107/124). An overall prevalence of 4.8% was detected by BCT in cattle. The mean packed cell volume (PCV) of positive animals was 22.4, compared to 26.1 of the negative. Trypanosoma congolense was responsible for 61.9% of infections, T. vivax for 35.9% and T. brucei for 1.7%. Four tsetse species were found to have a wide geographic distribution. The highest apparent density (AD) was reported for Glossina pallidipes in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region (SNNPR) (3.57 flies/trap/day). Glossina tachinoides was the most abundant in Amhara (AD 2.39), Benishangul-Gumuz (2.38), Gambela (1.16) and Oromia (0.94) regions. Glossina fuscipes fuscipes and G. morsitans submorsitans were detected at lower densities (0.19 and 0.42 respectively). Only one specimen of G. longipennis was captured.

The atlas establishes a reference for the distribution of tsetse and AAT in Ethiopia. It also provides crucial evidence to plan surveillance and monitor control activities at the national level. Future work on the atlas will focus on the inclusion of data collected by other stakeholders, the broadening of the coverage to tsetse-free areas and continuous updates. The extension of the atlas to data on control activities is also envisaged.

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