Date: Thu 10 Jan 2019
Source: Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) [summarised, edited]
A dog in Balangoda was found to have been infected by a parasitic disease known as trypanosomiasis. It was the 1st time that such a disease was detected in Sri Lanka, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Studies, Professor Ashoka Dangolla said.
Some of the symptoms of this disease are fever, severe headaches, irritability, extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, aching muscles and joints, and feeling sleepy and lethargic.
The dog was found to be suffering from this disease last month [December 2018] with infected eyes. The Balangoda Veterinary Department had referred the dog to the Peradeniya Veterinary Department, which was also unsuccessful in treating it. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Professor Dangolla said that subsequently they had received a report of a similar infection from Mullaitivu.
"In cases of eye infections, it is normal to run a test to eliminate [_Trypanosoma_ infection]. But this species of _Trypanosoma_ has never been detected in Sri Lanka," he said.
Professor Dangolla said he hoped that our veterinary doctors consider this detection of the _Trypanosoma_ virus [sic] as something serious. "Veterinary doctors mainly deal in livestock such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and household pets like dogs, cats.
But parasites are known to survive in animals whether household pets or farming animals. According to reports from foreign countries, the _Trypanosoma_ species is transmitted by the tsetse fly. The tsetse flies are normally found in sub-Saharan Africa but also known to have been found in several other regions as well. Up to now there's been no record of such flies being found in Sri Lanka. The doctors are checking on how this _Trypanosoma_ species has been transmitted," he said. [see comment] [Byline: Chaturanga Samarawickrama]
[OIE-listed diseases, infections and infestations in force in 2019 include 117 animal diseases, infections and infestations. Among them, 2 caused by the protozoan parasite _Trypanosoma_:
1. Surra (_Trypanosoma evansi_), under the group of "Multiple species diseases, infections and infestations." _T. evansi_ infection is also termed "non-tsetse transmitted."
2. Trypanosomiasis (tsetse-transmitted), under the group "Cattle diseases and infections."
Surra is present in the Indian subcontinent; its causative agent is _Trypanosoma evansi_. This disease is coined also El Debab, El Gafar, Tabourit or MBori in North Africa and Mal de Caderas or Murrina in Latin America. _T. evansi_ is known to infect camels (dromedary and bactrian), horses, buffalo, cattle, dogs and other animals. _T. evansi_ is not regarded zoonotic.
According to chapter 2.1.21, "_Trypanosoma evansi_ infection (Surra)" in OIE's Terrestrial Manual: "There is considerable variation in the pathogenicity of different strains and the susceptibility of different host species. The disease may manifest as an acute or chronic form, and in the latter case, may persist for several months, possibly years. The disease is often rapidly fatal in camels and horses, but may also be fatal in buffalo, cattle, llamas and dogs; however, these host species may develop mild or subclinical infections. Wild animals such as deer, capybara and coati can become infected and ill (including death), but they may also constitute a reservoir. Animals subjected to stress -- malnutrition, pregnancy, work -- are more susceptible to disease."
In Sri Lanka's most recent available annual report to the OIE (2016), trypanosomiasis was included among the "never reported" diseases. It would be interesting to note whether the definite identity of the _Trypanosoma_ organisms responsible for the described dog case could be finally confirmed and specified. Diagnostic methods are described in the comprehensive review in OIE's Terrestrial Manual (version adopted in May 2012), available online at <http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahm/2.01.21_TRYPANO_SURRA.pdf
Should it be identified as _Trypanosoma evansi_, notification to the OIE is warranted. - ProMed Mod.AS]