Drug sensitivity of trypanosome populations from cattle in a peri-urban dairy production system in Uganda.
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Cattle from 50 farms in Mukono County, Uganda, were monitored for trypanosomes every second month over an 18-month period (1995-1996) by mini-anion exchange chromatography and haematocrit centrifugation techniques. Eighteen trypanosome isolates collected from cattle during this period were characterised in cattle, goats and mice for their sensitivity to homidium, isometamidium and diminazene; 10 of the isolates were selected randomly, 8 were from animals that had the highest serum isometamidium concentrations at the time the isolates were collected. All the isolates contained only Trypanosoma brucei and/or T. vivax. In nai;ve Boran (Bos indicus) cattle the isolates exhibited low pathogenicity and were sensitive to diminazene aceturate at 3.5 mg/kg body weight (bw) and isometamidium chloride at 0.5 mg/kg bw. In goats, 5 of 8 isolates were highly pathogenic, producing clinical signs indicative of central nervous system involvement within 60 days of infection; all such isolates contained T. brucei. However, all 8 populations were sensitive in goats to diminazene aceturate at 3.5 mg/kg bw. In contrast, 4 populations were refractory to treatment with isometamidium chloride at 0.5 mg/kg bw in at least 1 out of 3 goats each. Furthermore, 5 populations were refractory to treatment with homidium chloride at 1.0 mg/kg bw in a minimum of 2 out of 3 goats each. In mice, the 50% curative dose values for 11 Mukono isolates that contained T. brucei ranged from 0.30 to 1.89 mg/kg bw for diminazene aceturate, from 0.02 to 0.17 mg/kg bw for isometamidium chloride and from 0.90 to 4.57 mg/kg bw for homidium chloride. Thus, by comparison to reference drug-sensitive populations, all the stabilates were highly sensitive to diminazene and isometamidium, while some expressed low levels of resistance to homidium.