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Spatial and temporal variations relevant to tsetse control in the Bipindi focus of southern Cameroon

Judith Tchouomene-Labou1, Hugues Nana-Djeunga12, Gustave Simo3, Guy Roger Njitchouang12, Gerard Cuny4, Tazoacha Asonganyi5 and Flobert Njiokou1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Parasitology and Ecology Laboratory, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box 812, Yaounde, Cameroon

2 Centre for Research on Filariasis and other Tropical Diseases, P.O. Box 5797, Yaounde, Cameroon

3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, P.O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon

4 UMR 177, IRD-CIRAD, CIRAD TA A-17/G, Campus International de Baillarguet, Montpellier, Cedex 5, 34398, France

5 Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box 1364, Yaounde, Cameroon

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Parasites & Vectors 2013, 6:193  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-193

Published: 1 July 2013



Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) remains a public health problem in many poor countries. Due to lack of financial resources in these countries, cost-effective strategies are needed for efficient control of this scourge, especially the tsetse vector. It was shown that perennial water sources maintain a favourable biotope for tsetse flies and thus the transmission dynamics of sleeping sickness. The present paper aimed at assessing the transmission dynamics of HAT in a forest environment where the hydrographic network is important.


Two entomological surveys were carried out in July 2009 and March 2010 in the Bipindi sleeping sickness focus of the South Region of Cameroon. Entomological and parasitological data were collected during both trapping periods (including the climate variations throughout a year) and compared to each other. The level of risk for transmission of the disease during each trapping period was also evaluated at the trap level and materialised on the map of the Bipindi focus.


Glossina palpalis palpalis was the most prevalent tsetse fly species captured in this focus. The overall densities of tsetse flies as well as the risk for transmission of HAT in the Bipindi focus were significantly higher in July than in March. At the trap level, we observed that these parameters were almost constant, whatever the trapping period, when the biotope included perennial water sources.


This study shows that the spatial distribution of traps, as well as the temporal climatic variations might influence entomological and parasitological parameters of HAT and that the presence of perennial water sources in biotopes would favour the development of tsetse flies and thus the transmission of sleeping sickness. These factors should, therefore, be taken into account in order to provide more efficient vector control.

Sleeping sickness; Trypanosomes; Tsetse flies; Climate; Temporal variation; Bipindi; Cameroon