T. b. rhodesiense is the acute form of African human trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness which is common in East and Southern Africa. Trypanosomiasis is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by tsetse flies (genus Glossina spp). Treatment of livestock in sub-Saharan Africa with trypanocidal drugs has been hindered by drug resistance and proves to be too expensive for many farmers. Tsetse control methods include aerial and ground spraying, sterile insect technique, and bait technology, including the use of insecticide-treated cattle (ITC). We compared two techniques of application of insecticides on cattle using a mathematical model: whole-body (WB), where insecticides are applied on the entire animals body and restricted application (RAP), where insecticides are applied on the legs, belly and ears of the animal.
Sleeping sickness severely affects health and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. As there are no prophylactics, and only highly toxic curatives, the safest policy is to attack the tsetse flies (vectors). The cheapest and simplest method of tsetse control is the use of insecticide-treated baits; host animals (cattle) or artificial representations of them (“targets”). Bait performance has been improved greatly in the last 40 years, however to further reduce the costs of targets more research is needed to shed light on some unsolved problems.