A systematic review and meta-analysis of small ruminant and porcine trypanosomiasis prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa (1986 to 2018)

Acta Trop. 2018 Dec;188:118-131. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.08.034. Epub 2018 Sep 1.


The appraisal of the disease burden of African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT) in some livestock at country level could invite a re-evaluation of trypanosomiasis-control strategy. This study thus estimates small ruminant and porcine trypanosomiasis prevalence in sub-Saharan African countries. It also describes Trypanosoma species prevalence in small ruminants and pigs and attempts identification of factors explaining between-study variations in prevalence. Articles reporting animal trypanosomiasis prevalence in sheep, goats, and pigs in countries within sub-Saharan Africa were retrieved from different databases (PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and African Journal Online) and reference lists of relevant literatures. A total of 85 articles from 13 countries published between 1986 and 2018 were included in the analysis. Overall random-effects meta-analytic mean prevalence estimates were: 7.67% (95% CI: 5.22-10.49), 5.84% (95% CI: 3.81-8.23), and 19.46% (95% CI: 14.61-24.80) respectively, for sheep, goats, and pigs with substantial heterogeneity (I2 = >95.00%. p < 0.0001) noted between studies. Ovine, caprine, and porcine prevalence were highest in Tanzania (91.67%. 95% CI: 76.50-99.84), Equatorial Guinea (27%. 95% CI: 0-81.09), and Cameroon (47%. 95% CI: 29.67-66.06), respectively. Trypanosoma brucei s. l., T. vivax, and T. congolense were the most prevalent in the livestock. Trypanosoma brucei subspecies (T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense) occurred in all three livestock being mostly prevalent in pigs. Country of study was a significant predictor of trypanosomiasis prevalence in each livestock in addition to time and sample size for caprine hosts, diagnostic technique for both caprine and ovine hosts, and sample size for porcine hosts. The pattern of animal trypanosomiasis prevalence in the studied livestock reflects their susceptibility to trypanosomal infections and tsetse fly host feeding preferences. In conclusion, sheep, goats, and especially pigs are reservoirs of human infective trypanosomes in sub-Saharan Africa; consequently, their inclusion in sleeping sickness control programmes could enhance the goal of the disease elimination.

Keywords: Goat; Pig; Sheep; Trypanosome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Ruminants / parasitology*
  • Swine / parasitology*
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Trypanosomiasis / epidemiology
  • Trypanosomiasis / veterinary*