Studies on the prevalance of east coast fever among cattle in Kilosa district

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


The most important bovine theilerial species in sub-Saharan Africa, Theileria parva, causes widespread morbidity and mortality in endemic areas. A study was conducted in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, to determine sero - prevalence of Theileria parva, knowledge, attitude and practices of livestock keepers on East Coast Fever (ECF). The prevalence of ECF in indigenous cattle was determined by measuring serum antibodies to Theileria parva using ELISA technique. Three hundred and eighty two (382) serum samples were collected and analysed, whereby 31 (8.1%) tested positive for T. parva infection. Knowledge of the farmers on disease constraints, tick species, tick control measures and socio economic characteristics were determined using questionnaire and Focus group discussion. Majority of the respondents (49.1%) had no education, while (47.1%) had primary school education and few (3.8%) had an adult learning education. The major source of household income in the study areas were sales of livestock, livestock products and crop products. Majority of the farmers were able to mention common ticks, but they were not able to identify exactly which tick transmits ECF. Hand spraying was the commonest method for acaricide application, because dips were not in working condition and the tendency of the pastoralists to move from one place to another searching for pasture. Majority reported that they did not know other control measures while few said that they usually treat their animals which fell sick. Most of the farmers declared that they were not aware of ECF immunization and very few were aware of ECF immunization. It is concluded that cattle production in Kilosa District is maintained under a state of endemic instability, as the seroprevalence for Theileria parva was less than 70%, suggesting that appropriate tick and theileriosis control strategies are required. Thus, there is a need to develop tick control strategies that can be adopted by farmers in Kilosa District in order to reduce losses due to ECF.



Fever prevalance, Cattle fever, Theileria parva, Livestock keepers, Kilosa district, East cost fever (ECF)