What is African Animal Trypanosomosis?

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What is African Animal Trypanosomosis? Blog Image


Recently, Ethiopia has released the first edition of an atlas to map a parasitic disease affecting livestock in the country and the vector behind it.

Why in news?

  • Ethiopia’s National Institute for Control and Eradication of Tsetse and Trypanosomosis (NICETT), through this atlas initiative, aims to establish a reference for the distribution of tsetse flies and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) in western Ethiopia.


What is AAT?

  • It is caused by the parasitic protozoa trypanosomes, which are transmitted by the bite of tsetse flies, an African blood-sucking fly.
  • It is a major livestock disease constraining sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural production.
  • There is no vaccine, and existing drugs are becoming less effective because of the development of resistance in parasites.
  • A human form of the disease also exists, known as human African trypanosomosis or sleeping sickness.


On-going Projects related to AAT

  • The COMBAT project (Controlling and progressively Minimising the Burden of Animal Trypanosomosis)
  • The European Commission financed a four-year research and innovation project in Africa.
  • The project spans from August 2021-August 2025 and houses African countries, including South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Senegal, Sudan, Chad, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Q1) What are Protozoa?

Protozoa are unicellular, eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms and they either free-living or parasites. They possess “true,” or membrane-bound, nucleus.

Source: Ethiopia releases an atlas to map livestock disease caused by the tsetse fly.