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A new transmission risk index for human African trypanosomiasis and its application in the identification of sites of high transmission of sleeping sickness in the Fontem focus of southwest Cameroon

Authors

  • G. R. NJITCHOUANG,

    Corresponding author
    1. General Biology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
    2. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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  • F. NJIOKOU,

    1. General Biology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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  • H. NANA-DJEUNGA,

    1. General Biology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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  • T. ASONGANYI,

    1. Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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  • P. FEWOU-MOUNDIPA,

    1. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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  • G. CUNY,

    1. Laboratoire de Recherche et de Coordination sur les Trypanosomoses, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR 177, CIRAD, Montpellier, France
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  • G. SIMO

    1. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon
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G. R. Njitchouang, General Biology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, PO Box 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Tel.: +237 77 81 37 62; Fax: +237 22 23 53 88; E-mail: njitchouang@yahoo.fr

Abstract

A new index for the risk for transmission of human African trypanosomiasis was developed from an earlier index by adding terms for the proportion of tsetse infected with Trypanosoma brucei gambiense group 1 and the contribution of animals to tsetse diet. The validity of the new index was then assessed in the Fontem focus of southwest Cameroon. Averages of 0.66 and 4.85 Glossina palpalis palpalis (Diptera: Glossinidae) were caught per trap/day at the end of one rainy season (November) and the start of the next (April), respectively. Of 1596 tsetse flies examined, 4.7% were positive for Trypanosoma brucei s.l. midgut infections and 0.6% for T. b. gambiense group 1. Among 184 bloodmeals identified, 55.1% were from pigs, 25.2% from humans, 17.6% from wild animals and 1.2% from goats. Of the meals taken from humans, 81.5% were taken at sites distant from pigsties. At the end of the rainy season, catches were low and similar between biotopes distant from and close to pigsties, but the risk for transmission was greatest at sites distant from the sties, suggesting that the presence of pigs reduced the risk to humans. At the beginning of the rainy season, catches of tsetse and risk for transmission were greatest close to the sties. In all seasons, there was a strong correlation between the old and new indices, suggesting that both can be used to estimate the level of transmission, but as the new index is the more comprehensive, it may be more accurate.

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