African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT) affects livestock productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to determine cattle AAT’s prevalence and associated risk factors in Lambwe Valley, Kenya.
In a cross-sectional survey, livestock owners were recruited from four villages of Lambwe in Homa Bay, Kenya. Blood samples were collected from the jugular veins of cattle, and buffy coat smears were examined under a microscope. Parasites were further detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using a semistructured questionnaire, livestock owners were interviewed on their knowledge of AAT and control practices. Chi-square and multilevel models were used for the analysis.
The overall prevalence was 15.63% (71/454). Trypanosoma vivax 10.31% and T. congolense Savannah 6.01% were the common species and subspecies. A total of 61 livestock keepers were involved in the study. Of these, 91.80% (56/61) knew AAT, and 90.16% (55/61) could describe the symptoms well and knew tsetse fly bite as transmission mode. Self-treatment (54.09%; 33/61) was common, with up to 50.00% of the farmers using drugs frequently. Isometamidium (72.13%; 44/61) and diminazene (54.09%; 33/61) were drugs frequently used. Although 16.39% (10/61) of the farmers claimed to use chemoprophylactic treatment, 6/10 did not use the right drugs. Animals (92.1%; 58/63) with clinical signs had positive infections. Villages closer to the national park recorded a higher prevalence. Infections were higher in cattle owned by those self-treating (27.23%; 58/213), those using drug treatment without vector control (27.62%; 50/181), those using single-drug therapy, and those practicing communal grazing (20.00%; 59/295). Clinical signs strongly associate with positive infections under multilevel modeling.
Cattle trypanosomiasis is prevalent in the Lambwe region of Kenya. This is influenced by inappropriate control practices, communal grazing, and the proximity of farms to the national park. In addition, clinical signs of the disease have a strong association with infections.