A nation-wide network of diptanks and spray races exists in Zimbabwe for the control of both ticks and, where present, tsetse. From the sites in areas affected by, or at risk of, AAT, blood samples for parasitological monitoring were collected by the DVFS and sent to the TCD laboratory in Harare for analysis. Microscopic examination of dry thin smears [30] is the most commonly used diagnostic technique. A 40× or 50× magnification is used to determine if samples are positive, and 100× is used to identify the species of trypanosome in positive samples. Morphological features such as the shape, size, the characteristics of the undulating membrane and the flagellum, and the position of the kinetoplast and the nucleus are used in determining the species of trypanosome.

Blood samples are normally collected from clinically suspicious animals. This approach has its drawbacks. For example, when cattle are treated with drugs by farmers parasitemia levels are lowered, thus reducing the likelihood of trypanosome detection. Prevalence data presented in this paper are based on the examination of infections in sentinel herds managed by the TCD, where blood samples were collected from the entire herd. Occasionally, wet smears were collected and directly analyzed in the field to administer treatment on the spot. Overall, nine sentinel herds are managed by the TCD, one in each field station, and they are strategically deployed in different locations to monitor the AAT situation in the affected areas and as an early-warning mechanism for possible disease resurgence in AAT-free areas.

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