Activity report of East coast fever survey in Uganda


East coast fever (ECF) is one of the most sever protozoan diseases caused by Theileria parva in East Africa. T. parva is transmitted by ticks and causes anemia and high mortality of cattle. Our JICA grassroots project focuses on the diseases and two programs, 1. Evaluation of acaricide-resistant ticks and 2. Epidemiological survey of ECF are currently in progress. From 10th to 19th in August 2017, I visited Makerere University in Uganda and established the PCR based survey system with students in the university.

The economical and easy-to-use system based on FTA card and simple alkaline solution does not require expensive DNA extraction kit, high speed centrifuge machine and water bath for preparation of DNA template of the PCR. Interestingly, the method showed higher sensitivity of T. parva PCR than commercial DNA extraction kit method. According to our system, the infection rate in each farm differed from 0 to 100% and the average infection rate of 215 animal from 13 farms was 33.2%.

These results contribute to an understanding of infection rate of T. parva at farm level in Mbarara district. And more detailed data such as risk factor of ECF will be attained with a combination of epidemiological data based on the question sheets in the future.

T.parvaGel electrophoresis images of T. parva PCR

DNA extraction of PCR at Makerere University

Electrophoresis of PCR at Makerere University

With students at RTC lab in Makerere University and Dr. Joseph (third right)