Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Parasites and vectors (2021) 14: 80

doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-04584-x


Copyright 2021, the authors. Open access material

License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)



Trypanosomosis caused by Trypanosoma vivax is one of the diseases threatening the health and productivity of livestock in Africa and Latin America. Trypanosoma vivax is mainly transmitted by tsetse fies; however, the parasite has also acquired the ability to be transmitted mechanically by hematophagous dipterans. Understanding its distribution, host range and prevalence is a key step in local and global efforts to control the disease.


The study was conducted according to the methodological recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist. A systematic literature search was conducted on three search engines, namely PubMed, Scopus and CAB Direct, to identify all publications reporting natural infection of T. vivax across the world. All the three search engines were screened using the search term Trypanosoma vivax without time and language restrictions. Publications on T. vivax that met our inclusion criteria were considered for systematic review and meta-analysis.


The study provides a global database of Trypanosoma vivax, consisting of 899 records from 245 peer-reviewed articles in 41 countries. A total of 232,627 tests were performed on 97 different mammalian hosts, including a wide range of wild animals. Natural infections of T. vivax were recorded in 39 diferent African and Latin American countries and 47 mammalian host species. All the 245 articles were included into the qualitative analysis, while information from 186 cross-sectional studies was used in the quantitative analysis mainly to estimate the pooled prevalence. Pooled prevalence estimates of T. vivax in domestic buffalo, cattle, dog, dromedary camel, equine, pig, small ruminant, and wild animals were 30.6%, 6.4%, 2.6%, 8.4%, 3.7%, 5.5%, 3.8%, and 12.9%, respectively. Stratified according to the diagnostic method, the highest pooled prevalences were found with serological techniques in domesticated buffalo (57.6%) followed by equine (50.0%) and wild animals (49.3%).


The study provides a comprehensive dataset on the geographical distribution and host range of Trypanosoma vivax and demonstrates the potential of this parasite to invade other countries out of Africa and Latin America.

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