Nagana, also called nagana pest or Animal African Trypanosomiasis, is a disease of vertebrate animals. The disease is caused by trypanosomes of several species in the genus "
Trypanosoma". The trypanosomes infect the blood of the vertebrate host, causing fever, weakness, and lethargy which lead to weight loss and anemia; in some animals the disease is fatal unless treated. The trypanosomes are transmitted by tsetse flies. [http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs259/en/]
An interesting feature is the remarkable resistance to nagana pathology shown by some breeds of cattle, notably the
N'dama- a West African " Bos taurus" breed. This contrasts with the susceptibility shown by East African " Bos indicus" cattle such as the zebu. [cite journal |author=Courtin D, Berthier D, Thevenon S, Dayo GK, Garcia A, Bucheton B |title=Host genetics in African trypanosomiasis |journal=Infect. Genet. Evol. |volume=8 |issue=3 |pages=229–38 |year=2008 |month=May |pmid=18394971 |doi=10.1016/j.meegid.2008.02.007] Most wild African animals are also resistant.Fact|date=February 2007
This disease is the animal counterpart of
sleeping sickness, also known as Human African Trypanosomiasis.
Nagana and history
The nagana pest disease has had a significant effect on African history, by keeping
horses and camels (and thus cavalryand mounted knights and mounted messengers) out of much of Africa.Fact|date=February 2007 One main effect was in stopping the southward advance of Islamat the northern limit of tsetse fly country.Fact|date=February 2007 Another effect is that it is probable that the southward spread of the Bantu/ Ngunipeoples had to wait until their cattleevolved to become resistant to nagana.Fact|date=February 2007
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