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Gachohi J.M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Gachohi J.M.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Kitala P.M.,University of Nairobi | Ngumi P.N.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Skilton R.A.,Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa BecA ILRI Hub
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between seroprevalence to Theileria parva infection in cattle and potential environmental and farm-level effects in 80 farms under traditional crop-livestock system in Mbeere District, Kenya. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect the effects characteristics as related to T. parva infection epidemiology. Serum samples were collected from 440 cattle of all ages for detection of T. parva antibodies by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. The association between the variables was assessed using a generalized estimation equation logistic regression model. The overall T. parva seroprevalence, accounting for correlation of responses, was 19.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 14%, 25%). Two variables, "administrative division" and "presence of the vector tick on the farm", were significantly associated with the T. parva seroresponse. Respectively, cattle from farms in Gachoka, Evurore, and Mwea divisions were (and their 95% CI) 1.3 (0.36, 4.8), 4.4 (1.2, 15.9), and 15.2 (4.9, 47.1) times more likely to be seropositive relative to those from Siakago Division (P = 0.000). Cattle from farms in which the vector tick was present were 2.9 (1.2, 6.7) times more likely to be seropositive (P = 0.011). Results of this study suggested that both environmental and farm factors may be associated with T. parva infection epidemiology in Mbeere District. Under such circumstances, characterization of environmental suitability for the vector tick and corresponding environment-specific farm management practices in the district is required both for improved understanding of the disease and in planning disease control programs. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Gachohi J.M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Gachohi J.M.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Kitala P.M.,University of Nairobi | Ngumi P.N.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus tick presence (exposure variable) on Theileria parva infection seroprevalence (outcome variable) in a group of cattle belonging to a farm using population attributable fractions (PAF). The analyses were based on a representative sample of 80 traditional smallholder mixed farms. The farms were selected by first stratifying the population administratively and implementing a multistage random sampling in Mbeere district in Kenya. The PAFs were estimated using the stratified, Bruzzi, and sequential partitioned PAF approaches. A secondary objective was, thus, to evaluate the impact of the approaches on the PAF estimates. The stratified and Bruzzi approaches estimated proportion of T. parva infection cases directly attributable to the exposure after controlling for confounding by agro-ecological zone (AEZ). The sequential partitioned PAF approach estimated a PAF associated with exposure after adjusting for any effect that the AEZ may have had by influencing the prevalence of the exposure. All analyses were carried out at the farm level where a farm was classified as infested if the tick was found on cattle on a farm, and infected if at least one animal on a farm was positive for T. parva antibodies. Variance estimation for PAFs was implemented using 'delete-a-group' jackknife re-sampling method. The stratified PAF (26.7% [95% CI: 9.0%, 44.4%]) and Bruzzi PAF (26.4% [95% CI: 9.6%, 43.2%]) were consistent in estimating a relatively low impact of farm vector tick presence with a relatively high level of uncertainty. The partitioned PAF (15.5% [95% CI: 1.5%, 29.6%]) suggested that part of the impacts estimated using the stratified PAF and Bruzzi approaches was driven by AEZ effects. Overall, the results suggested that under endemic instability in Mbeere district, (1) presence of R. appendiculatus was not a good indicator of T. parva infection occurrence on a farm; (2) ecological variation could play a role in determining infection impacts. This study provides a preliminary basis for evaluating the potential value and utility of estimating PAFs for variables amenable to control in tick-borne diseases (TBDs) epidemiological studies. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Gachohi J.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Gachohi J.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Skilton R.,Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa BecA ILRI Hub | Hansen F.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2012

In this article, we review the epidemiology of East Coast fever (ECF), a tick-borne infection of cattle, in Kenya. The major factors associated with epidemiology of ECF include the agro-ecological zone (AEZ), livestock production system (LPS) and both animal breed and age. These factors appear to influence the epidemiology of ECF through structured gradients. We further show that the gradients are dynamically shaped by socio-demographic and environmental processes. For a vector-borne disease whose transmission depends on environmental characteristics that influence vector dynamics, a change in the environment implies a change in the epidemiology of the disease. The review recommends that future ECF epidemiological studies should account for these factors and the dynamic interactions between them. In Kenya, ECF control has previously relied predominantly on tick control using acaricides and chemotherapy while ECF immunization is steadily being disseminated. We highlight the contribution of ECF epidemiology and economics in the design of production system and/or geographical area-specific integrated control strategies based on both the dynamic epidemiological risk of the disease and economic impacts of control strategies. In all production systems (except marginal areas), economic analyses demonstrate that integrated control in which ECF immunization is always an important component, can play an important role in the overall control of the disease. Indeed, Kenya has recently approved ECF immunization in all production systems (except in marginal areas). If the infrastructure of the vaccine production and distribution can be heightened, large ECF endemic areas are expected to be endemically stable and the disease controlled. Finally, the review points the way for future research by identifying scenario analyses as a critical methodology on which to base future investigations on how both dynamic livestock management systems and patterns of land use influence the dynamics and complexity of ECF epidemiology and the implications for control. © 2012 Gachohi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Gachohi J.M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Gachohi J.M.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Ngumi P.N.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Kitala P.M.,University of Nairobi | Skilton R.A.,Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa BecA ILRI Hub
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

A cross-sectional study of serum antibody responses of cattle to tick-borne disease (TBD) parasites (Theileria parva, Theileria mutans, Anaplasma marginale and Babesia bigemina) was conducted on traditional smallholder mixed farms in Mbeere District in Kenya. The objective was to estimate the infections' seroprevalence and variation and identify associated risk factors. A total of 440 cattle in 80 farms, selected by stratified random sampling from the four divisions in the district, were surveyed. Information on animal and on each farm's management practices, particularly on tick control practices, was obtained by personal interview using a standardized questionnaire. Prevalences of serum antibodies were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The relationship between TBDs seroprevalence and the risk factors was assessed by multivariable analysis using standard logistic regression models and mixed models using the farm as a random effect. Overall estimation of seroprevalences and their 95% confidence limits were: T. parva (19% [14%, 25%]), T. mutans (25% [20%, 29%]), A. marginale (58% [52%, 64%]) and B. bigemina (19% [15%, 23%]). Analysis in presence of extra-binomial variation under Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) yielded relatively larger intra-farm correlation coefficient (ICC) (0.3) and variance-inflation factor (VIF) (2.35) values for T. parva than for the other parasites [range, 0.05-0.07 (for ICC) and 1.02-1.32 (for VIF)]. Both farm- and area-level variables had variably significant and large effects on all infections, but these were more pronounced on T. parva seroprevalence. Inclusion of farm random effect resulted in substantially higher estimate of farm variance component for T. parva infection (1.73) compared to other infections [range, 0.29-0.56], comparable ICC values with those under ANOVA analysis [range, 0.08-0.35] and a substantially better fit than the standard multivariable logistic regressions. The above results serve as possible indicators of existence of endemic instability for the studied TBD infections in the district. A probable differential ecological and climatic variability in vector suitability habitats, particularly for T. parva vector, was likely in Mbeere District and this was suggested to influence farm tick control management across the area. Implications of the design-based sampling and analyses on the above results are also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Kamau L.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Kamau L.,Kenyatta University | Skilton R.A.,Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa BecA ILRI Hub | Odongo D.O.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | And 11 more authors.
Insect Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

The transcriptional control of gene expression is not well documented in the Arthropoda. We describe transcriptional analysis of two exceptionally divergent homologues (Ra86) of the Bm86 gut antigen from Rhipicephalus appendiculatus. Bm86 forms the basis of a commercial vaccine for the control of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. The R. appendiculatus Ra86 proteins contain 654 and 693 amino acids, with only 80% amino acid sequence identity. Reverse-transcription PCR of gut cDNA showed transcription of only one genotype in individual female ticks. PCR amplification of 3 untranslated sequences from genomic DNA indicated that both variants could be encoded within a single genome. When both variants were present, one of the two Ra86 genotypes was transcriptionally dominant. © 2010 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society. Source

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