During a period of four consecutive years, trypanosomosis surveys were conducted in a tsetse-infested and tsetse-free area of the Amhara Region of north-west Ethiopia. In each study area randomly selected communal cattle were sampled and their blood was investigated using parasitological diagnostic methods. At the same time the population of biting flies was sampled. The monthly average prevalence of trypanosome infections in cattle did not differ significantly between study areas. In both study areas, the prevalence of trypanosome infections was highest during the long rainy season. Trypanosome infections were mainly due to Trypanosoma vivax and they significantly reduced the average packed cell volume and the body condition of the animals. The monthly prevalence of infection was correlated with the density of biting flies, such as Tabanidae and Stomoxys spp., in the preceding month suggesting an important role of mechanical transmission in the epidemiology of trypanosomosis in both areas.
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