Preventing and containing trypanocide resistance in the cotton zone of West Africa

Published on 12 March 2010

Research Areas



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Start Date: 1 September 2006 | End Date: 1 October 2010


The goal of this project is to protect and improve the livelihoods of resource-poor livestock keepers in agro-pastoral production systems in sub-humid West Africa. The project is contributing to this goal by enhancing the current and future efficacy of trypanocides as an effective component of improved, integrated strategies for control of trypanosomosis (sleeping sickness).

This collaborative project represents the second phase of a regional research project titled “Improving the management of trypanocide resistance in the cotton zone of West Africa: A coordinated regional study”.   The first phase focused on adapting methods and evaluating the extent of resistance to trypanocides in northeast Guinea, southern Mali and southwest Burkina Faso, and testing integrated control strategies that would reduce the risk of emerging drug resistance.

The second phase of the project builds on these results to evaluate resistance and raise awareness and capacity to address the problem across much of the rest of the zone, and scale up the prevention strategies developed during the first phase.

The second phase also consolidates the results achieved to date, closing the circle from problem identification to development and dissemination of appropriate responses to resistance and establishing the capacity across the cotton zone to support and sustain those responses.

Appropriate strategies are being developed for containing — and, if possible, reversing — trypanocide drug resistance in the pockets characterized in Phase 1. A specific study is being undertaken to assess the impact of the efforts to date to understand and address the problem of drug resistance.

Expected outputs

  • Evaluation of suspected “hot spots” and risk communication of trypanocide resistance in at least two other countries across the cotton zone.  This output will build the capacity of national agencies to use the diagnostic tools developed during Phase 1, while at the same time raising awareness of the problem and motivating dissemination of the best-bet prevention strategies. Additional surveillance techniques based on genetic markers will be validated.
  • Best-bet strategies for preventing trypanocide resistance widely disseminated and supported.  The project will facilitate the uptake and dissemination of knowledge and media tools developed during Phase 1 by appropriate partners in the public, private, and civil sectors, including policy makers, to ensure livestock keepers have access to support for continued use of trypanocides while minimizing the risk of developing resistance.
  • Best-bet integrated strategies for containment and reversal of resistance evaluated. Trials of resistance containment strategies will be conducted in hot spots identified in Phase 1. Mathematical models will be extended to better understand resistance genesis and decay, and make confident recommendations for resistance containment outside the study area.
  • The impact of research and development investments in controlling trypanocide resistance assessed.  An impact assessment component is proposed to evaluate investments made to date to improve the management of resistance and their contribution to the ultimate goal, as stated above, considering both the sequence of research activities over the past ten years and the scaling up dissemination of knowledge products taking place in Output 2.
  • National and regional capacity further enhanced to support the monitoring and control of trypanocide resistance.

Research Partners


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