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A cross sectional study comprising serological and questionnaire survey was conducted with the objective of determining the prevalence, extent and distribution of Dourine in selected horse breeding districts of Bale highlands of Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia from September 2007 to May 2008. Parasitological survey in an attempt to determine the parasitological prevalence and to isolate T. equiperdum in 71 purposively selected clinical Dourine cases revealed no trypanosomes by Giemsa staining or by Haematocrit Centrifugation Technique (HCT). A total of 880 sera were tested for the detection of antibodies against the causative agent of Dourine in four selected horse breeding districts of the Bale highlands of Ethiopia. Accordingly, the sero prevalence of Dourine was found to be 140 (15.90 %) and 173 (19.66 %) for CATT / T. evansi and LATEX / T. evansi tests, respectively. Body condition and parity number were found to have significant difference (p < 0.05) on the sero prevalence of the disease based on the CATT/ T. evansi test only. However, age, sex, history of previous abortion and castration status no significant difference (p > 0.05) on the sero prevalence of the disease using CATT/ T. evansi test. On the other hand neither of the explanatory variables had significant difference (p > 0.05) using LATEX/ T. evansi test. Logistic regression analysis revealed that horses without parity number (0) had an OR of 1.80 (1.02, 3.19) positivity compared to horses with parity number (1 and above); and horses with poor body condition (thin and very thin) had an OR of 1.44 (1.00, 2.08); positivity compared to horses with moderate body condition (less thin, less moderate and moderate) scores, on the basis of CATT/ T. evansi test. The questionnaire survey indicated that dourine is the major health problem of horses in the selected horse breeding districts of Bale highlands of Ethiopia and locally known as “Derisa” in Oromifa language and “Tigen” in Amharic language that causes high mortality and economic loss in selected horse breeding districts of Bale highlands of Ethiopia. It is a common clinical case throughout the year, however the disease has a seasonal character, which most commonly occurs whenever animals are in a good body condition and following the breeding season from April to late September and during dry season of the year (January to March), which probably associated with the relapse of previously infected and recovered cases due to the stressful condition of feed shortage. Uncontrolled breeding, unrestricted animal movement and absence of officially approved effective trypanocidal drugs against dourine cases are the main factors that play an important role in the distribution and transmission of the disease. X Even though there was no direct parasitological detection of T. equiperdum, the result of serological survey conducted by using CATT / T. evansi and LATEX / T. evansi tests together with the questionnaire survey, provides strong evidence that Dourine is highly prevalent, most important problem in selected horse breeding districts of Bale highlands of Ethiopia, where the problem of dourine is still unsolved. Further more, in view of large number of horses in Ethiopia and the unrestricted movement of animals throughout the country it is likely that dourine may be more widespread in Ethiopia than is currently realized.



Bale highlands, CATT/ T. evansi, Dourine, Ethiopia, Horses, LATEX/ T. evansi