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.
The present study was based on the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of the 16S ribosomal nucleic acid (rRNA) of Mycoplasma for detection of viable Mycoplasma gallisepticum. To determine the stability of M. gallisepticum 16S rRNA in vitro, three inactivation methods were used and the suspensions were stored at different temperatures. The 16S rRNA of M. gallisepticum was detected up to approximately 20-25 h at 37 °C, 22-25 h at 16 °C, and 23-27 h at 4 °C. The test, therefore, could detect viable or recently dead M. gallisepticum (< 20 h). The RT-PCR method was applied during an in vivo study of drug efficacy under experimental conditions, where commercial broiler-breeder eggs were inoculated with M. gallisepticum into the yolk. Hatched chicks that had been inoculated in ovo were treated with Macrolide 1. The method was then applied in a flock of day 0 chicks with naturally acquired vertical transmission of M. gallisepticum, treated with Macrolide 2. Swabs of the respiratory tract were obtained for PCR and RT-PCR evaluations to determine the viability of M. gallisepticum. This study proved that the combination of both PCR and RT-PCR enables detection and differentiation of viable from non-viable M. gallisepticum.