Awareness level of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) among farmers in Talek, Narok County, Kenya
Sylvia Muthama, Dr. Joseph Koskey, Dr. Maghenda W, Dr. P Webala
African Trypanosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects both humans and livestock across the continent of Africa, whose primary vector is the tsetsefly (Allsopp, 2001). Based on both their morphological and ecological specifics, there are 31 tsetse (Glossina) species which fall in three subgenera (Cecchi et al., 2008). African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT) or Nagana disease is caused by Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax and T. brucei brucei. In wild animals, these parasites cause relatively mild infections while in domestic animals they cause a severe, often fatal disease (Steverding, 2008). In livestock, trypanosomiasis which causes anaemia, emaciation, production loss and death, is arguably the most important constraint to livestock development in Sub-Saharan Africa (Seyoum et al., 2013). Transmission occurs by fly feeding on blood of an infected mammalian host, after which the parasites enter the digestive tract, followed by a complex process of establishment in the midgut and maturation in the salivary glands before finding an uninfected host (Brun et al., 2010). Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) or sleeping sickness is caused by two subspecies of T. brucei; T. brucei gambiense and T. brucei rhodesiense. In East and Southern Africa, T. b. rhodesiense gives rise to the acute form of HAT (Steverding, 2008) which has two stages with the first characterized by general malaise, headache, and fever of an undulating type and the second stage occurs when the parasites invade internal organs and the central nervous system (Barrett et al., 2003). The disease is fatal and if not timely and appropriately treated results in death. This paper presents the awareness status of human African Trypanosomiasis and African animal Trypanosomiasis among pastoralist farmers in Talek area of Mara division, Narok County.