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Publication - Professor Mark Eisler

    Trematode infections in cattle in Arumeru District, Tanzania are associated with irrigation


    Nzalawahe, J, Kassuku, AA, Stothard, JR, Coles, GC & Eisler, MC, 2014, ‘Trematode infections in cattle in Arumeru District, Tanzania are associated with irrigation’. Parasites and Vectors, vol 7.


    Background: The relationship between the environment and infection of cattle with trematodes was studied at Arumeru District, Arusha Region, northern Tanzania. Randomly selected villages were grouped into three cattle management strata, (i) zero-grazing (ZZ) (ii) communal grazing without irrigation (ZC) and (iii) communal grazing with irrigation (ZCI).

    Methods: Faecal samples were collected from 241 cattle, and processed using the Flukefinder((R)) method. Snail intermediate hosts were collected with a snail scoop from the water bodies in the study villages and identified morphologically.

    Results: The overall prevalence of F. gigantica, paramphistomes and S. bovis were 33%, 37% and 2% respectively. Prevalence for F. gigantica, paramphistomes, and S. bovis for each stratum were, zero-grazing (ZZ) (29.7%, 36.0% and 0%), communal grazing without irrigation (ZC) (6.3%, 15.0% and 3.8%) and communal grazing with irrigation (ZCI) (57.7%, 56.7% and 1.0%) respectively. The differences between strata were significant for F. gigantica (p <0.001) and paramphistomes (p <0.05) but not for S. bovis. Irrigation could account for the high prevalence of F. gigantica and paramphistomes in the ZCI stratum as compared to the ZZ and ZC strata. The higher prevalences of F. gigantica and paramphistomes in the ZZ stratum compared with the ZC stratum were unexpected and attributed to the practice of farmers in some ZZ stratum villages buying fodder for their cattle obtained from pastures in ZCI villages.

    Conclusion: Trematode infections in cattle are prevalent in Arumeru District. Fasciola gigantica and paramphistomes are associated with grazing in areas with irrigation of crops. Zero-grazing of cattle does not necessarily prevent the risk of infection.

    Full details in the University publications repository