Activities and Objectives

Collection of Blood Samples

Collection of blood samples from cattle in 20 villages previously shown to harbor cattle with high levels of T.b. brucei s.l. that showed either high or low levels of human infective T.b. rhodesiense within the village population

Animal Chemical Treatment

After sampling animals will be treated with 7mg/kg Diminazene aceturate and Live bait technology will be introduced for the control of Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis in the target areas.

Interviewing of Farmers 

Farmers will be interviewed as to their animal health practices for control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis.

Screening of Human Population

•Additionally, the human population will be screened at parish level to determine the prevalence of HAT by, clinical, microscopic and PCR based methods. Those found to be infected will be referred for HAT treatment.

Main Objective

The objective the PhD study is to investigate the stability of T.b.r in cattle. This will be achieved by PCR-based molecular analysis and participatory epidemiology. 

General Objectives

To investigate the stability of T.b.r in naturally infected cattle and assess the risk to the human population in Uganda.

The specific objectives will be;

(i) To assess the history and trends of rhodesiense sleeping sickness in Uganda between 1900 and 2017 using meta-analysis.

(ii) To assess the relationship between herd prevalence, disaggregated by trypanosome sub species in 2014/15 and 2018/19 to determine the stability of T.b.r in cattle using molecular tools.

(iii) To determine the drivers for the risk factors associated with continued cattle trypanosome infections through qualitative and quantitative methods.

(iv) To assess the relationship between rHAT prevalence and herd prevalence, disaggregated by trypanosome sub species using molecular tools.

This PhD supports the rapid impact project designed to evaluate the stability (persistence) of T.b. rhodesiense prevalence in previously sampled cattle population.

The findings will enable the Uganda Government to determine and implement, through COCTU, the most appropriate and cost-effective control and surveillance strategies. Under the TIBA rapid impact project to which this PhD aligns, there will revisit, villages in Lira and Kole and Alebtong districts where cattle were previously sampled under a cluster randomised sampling (village level) approach in 2014, which presented with a mix of high and low prevalence of T.b. rhodesiense, and where there has been no systematic treatment, to examine the stability of T.b. rhodesense in the population.

Using a rapid appraisal approach and focussing on Kole Lira and Alebtong which are spatially contagious (and part of the expansion of T.b. rhodesiense focus), all cattle (estimated 120-200 head by village) in a minimum of 20 villages will screened to determine the stability of T.b. rhodeseise within the T. bruceis.l. population. 

Scientific Milestones

1. Completion of first-round sampling from village herds (31st January 2018)

2. Completion of active screening within the local human population at village and parish level (31st January 2018).

3. Completion of molecular analysis of all human samples and follow up all individuals with a positive molecular signature for rHAT (31st March 2018)

4. Completion of first round analysis of first round livestock samples (31st March 2018).

5. Completion of second round first round of livestock samples sampling after 6 months post-treatment (31st July 2018).

Impact Milestones

1. Administration of trypanocidal intervention in high risk parishes.

2. Active screening of the local human population across 16 parishes, immediate treatment for all parasitologically confirmed cases.

3. Completion of molecular analysis of human samples to inform the level of spill-over and under-reporting follow up of any cases identified by PCR.

4. Molecular analysis of cattle samples to determine stability of human infective parasite population in cattle.