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Trypanotolerance and phenotypic characteristics of four Ethiopian cattle breeds

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Presented by Jennie Stein at the ILRI-EIAR-SLU Workshop on Sharing Research Results on Trypanotolerance in Indigenous Cattle Breeds and Experiences of Community Based Breed Improvement of Indigenous …

Presented by Jennie Stein at the ILRI-EIAR-SLU Workshop on Sharing Research Results on Trypanotolerance in Indigenous Cattle Breeds and Experiences of Community Based Breed Improvement of Indigenous Sheep in Ethiopia—A Road Map for Implementation and Future R4D, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15-16 November 2011.

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  • Glossina spp. Found in warm and humid mid altitude areas in riverine vegetation, savannah woodlands and woody forests Ethiopia 10-14 million heads of cattle an equivalent number of small ruminants, horses and camels are exposed to the risk of trypanosomosis.
  • The ability to survive and produce in tsetse infested areas! Humpless Longhorn 6000 B.C. Shorthorn 2500 B.C. Humped Zebu 700 A.D.
  • Fertile 30 km long gorge SW of Addis Abeba Trypanosomosis still a problem – research and tsetse eradication has continued The use of pour-on resulted in: 63 % less trypanosomosis 50 % less treatments 62 % less abortions and calf mortalities
  • The four breeds investigated are the Abigar, Gurage, Horro and Sheko. The Sheko breed is the only remaining Bos taurus breed in eastern Africa, and is anecdotally believed to be trypanotolerant. According to a recent census count there are only approximately 2400 Sheko animals. The livestock keepers in the area also perform more or less uncontrolled crossbreeding with local Zebu, and the Sheko is therefore classified as endangered.
  • According to livestock keepers
  • Blood sampling with a capillary tube from the ear-vein of the animal. The capillary tube is then centrifuged to be able to determine PCV. After that the blood is looked at through a microscope to determine infection. To the right an animal is just about to be weighed at a weighing bridge. The last picture shows that it is possible to do investigations in the field as well. It was just a matter of loading a table, some chairs, a generator, centrifuge and microscope in the car and then set everything up on a field far away from the nearest laboratory.
  • Gurage selection:56% bulls 88% cows. Most common selection criteria was big body conformation and for cows also a good milk production. Only 2 farmers select based on trypanotolerance – 1 for bulls, one for cows. 2nd criteria for both Most common way to control mating is to have herd mating or to select certain bulls that are continuously with the cows. Practically all farmers for Abigar, Horro and Sheko purposely selected their breeding animals according to some criteria (bulls and cows). The corresponding numbers for Gurage was 56% regarding bulls and 88% for cows. However, the proportion of calves with known sires was much lower, between 15-45%. This implies that the selection being done is herd-specific and that several bulls are used for group-breeding as in many cases cattle are grazed on communal pastures.
  • Gurage selection:56% bulls 88% cows. Most common selection criteria was big body conformation and for cows also a good milk production. Only 2 farmers select based on trypanotolerance – 1 for bulls, one for cows. 2nd criteria for both Most common way to control mating is to have herd mating or to select certain bulls that are continuously with the cows. Practically all farmers for Abigar, Horro and Sheko purposely selected their breeding animals according to some criteria (bulls and cows). The corresponding numbers for Gurage was 56% regarding bulls and 88% for cows. However, the proportion of calves with known sires was much lower, between 15-45%. This implies that the selection being done is herd-specific and that several bulls are used for group-breeding as in many cases cattle are grazed on communal pastures.
  • Important that keepers know how to correctly diagnose trypanosomosis Abigar 23 % Gurage 20 % Horro 17 % Sheko 5 %
  • Horro: best Body condition score and highest PCV Abigar results will be re-measured! BCS: Body condition score, scale 1-5, where 1 is in poor condition and 5 is in good condition Abigar not bleed during the peak challenge – these data is a bit uncertain, maybe we will have to do another bleeding later. The body condition score was lowest for Gurage, which also showed the highest signs of trypanosomosis. The prevalence of trypanosomes, as well as the number of treatments per year, clearly implied that the Sheko is more trypanotolerant than any of the other breeds in their respective habitat. The significantly lower prevalence of trypanosomes in Sheko compared to the other breeds was also reported in a related study by Lemecha et al. (2006). In the same study they also found that Sheko had significantly higher PCV than Gurage, which supports our findings from the field. As regards to body size, Gurage cattle are clearly smaller than Sheko cattle whereas Horro cattle are the biggest.
  • Abigar and Gurage 12-13 % dead from tryps, Sheko 4 % dead from tryps Station: Sheko 78 % for calves, 57 % for purchased Horro 70 % for calves, 76 % for purchased
  • Gurage had a significantly higher age at first mating as well as for the first calf, which could indicate later maturity. The calving interval was also nearly double compared to that of the other breeds and the number of calves was significantly lower than for Abigar and Sheko. This would imply a lower fertility for Gurage than the other breeds of which Abigar showed the best results.
  • AFC home 4 (Abigar) – 5,5 (Gurage) AFC station 5,3 (sheko) – 7 (Abigar) Home: Gurage double calving interval Station. Abigar only have 5 % pregnancy rate!
  • Have to note that also some unfinished lactations are present in this data. Big milk production for Sheko despite the size of the animals.
  • All breeds showed lower BCS when infected Horro and Sheko best BCS Abigar and Gurage worst
  • Clear differences in trypanotolerance between the breeds Some re-ranking between different traits and environments took place Gurage: Low fertility, milk production and PCV, Many treatments, yet high parasitemia Abigar: Somewhat unclear – reranking of traits. Performed much better in the home environment than on the station regarding reproduction Horro: Overall good performance Sheko: Overall the best characteristics both in the home environment and on the experimental station. Had good production and reproduction, had high PCV, few infections and needed the fewest number of trypanocidal drugs. Since trypanotolerance is associated with control of parasitaemia, maintenance of normal PCV, less need of trypanocidal drugs as well as good production and reproduction levels, the Sheko is clearly found to be the most tolerant breed of the three fully described breeds.
  • Welcome everybody to my PhD defense. I would especially like to thank my opponent and the evaluation committee for their presence here today.
  • The four breeds investigated are the Abigar, Gurage, Horro and Sheko. The Sheko breed is the only remaining Bos taurus breed in eastern Africa, and is anecdotally believed to be trypanotolerant. According to a recent census count there are only approximately 2400 Sheko animals. The livestock keepers in the area also perform more or less uncontrolled crossbreeding with local Zebu, and the Sheko is therefore classified as endangered.
  • Clear differences in trypanotolerance between the breeds Some re-ranking between different traits and environments took place Gurage: Low fertility, milk production and PCV, Many treatments, yet high parasitemia Abigar: Somewhat unclear – reranking of traits. Performed much better in the home environment than on the station regarding reproduction Horro: Overall good performance Sheko: Overall the best characteristics both in the home environment and on the experimental station. Had good production and reproduction, had high PCV, few infections and needed the fewest number of trypanocidal drugs. Since trypanotolerance is associated with control of parasitaemia, maintenance of normal PCV, less need of trypanocidal drugs as well as good production and reproduction levels, the Sheko is clearly found to be the most tolerant breed of the three fully described breeds.
  • It is at this stage important to focus on conservation and spread of trypanotolerant genes and Sheko animals – NOT breed improvement. Selection of breed and not so much the individual animals within breed. Within breed it is important to focus on selecting healthy animals.
  • It is at this stage important to focus on conservation and spread of trypanotolerant genes and Sheko animals – NOT breed improvement. Selection of breed and not so much the individual animals within breed. Within breed it is important to focus on selecting healthy animals.
  • It is at this stage important to focus on conservation and spread of trypanotolerant genes and Sheko animals – NOT breed improvement. Selection of breed and not so much the individual animals within breed. Within breed it is important to focus on selecting healthy animals.
  • It is at this stage important to focus on conservation and spread of trypanotolerant genes and Sheko animals – NOT breed improvement. Selection of breed and not so much the individual animals within breed. Within breed it is important to focus on selecting healthy animals.
  • It is at this stage important to focus on conservation and spread of trypanotolerant genes and Sheko animals – NOT breed improvement. Selection of breed and not so much the individual animals within breed. Within breed it is important to focus on selecting healthy animals.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Trypanotolerance and Phenotypic Characteristics of four Ethiopian Cattle Breeds Jennie Stein ILRI-EIAR-SLU Workshop on Sharing Research Results on Trypanotolerance in Indigenous Cattle Breeds and Experiences of Community Based Breed Improvement of Indigenous Sheep in Ethiopia—A Road Map for Implementation and Future R4D Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15-16 November 2011
    • 2. Distribution
      • Ethiopia
      • Trypanosomosis covers 15 % of all arable land
      • 10 - 14 million heads of cattle exposed to risk
      Sub-Saharan Africa 60 million heads of cattle exposed to risk 3 million heads lost annually Costs 1.34 billion USD annually
    • 3. Trypanotolerance
      • Relative capacity of an animal to control the development of the parasites and to limit their pathological effects
      • Natural selection
      • Mostly West African B. taurus
      • Complex trait
      West African N´Dama Photo: Emelie Zonabend
    • 4. The Ghibe Valley
      • Non-inhabited up to mid 80-ies due to trypanosomosis
      • Major efforts and research by ILRI and EIAR
      • Now: 10,000 farming families and 25,000 heads of cattle
      • Trypanosomosis still a large problem in the valley
    • 5. Background
      • Ghibe/Tolley research station – EIAR and ILRI
      • Aimed at identifying trypanotolerant cattle breed(s) among Abigar, Gurage, Horro and Sheko
      • Animals of the four breeds arrived in 2000
      • PhD-project proposal– EIAR, ILRI and SLU
      • To further investigate trypanotolerance and related traits both in home area and at the Ghibe station
      • Main funding from Sida/SAREC
    • 6. Breeds Investigated Horro Abigar Sheko Gurage Kept in different parts of South-Western Ethiopia
    • 7. Objective
      • Learn about farmers’ perception and knowledge regarding diseases, breeding and production
      • Determine level of trypanosomosis of the four breeds objectively
      • Compare breeds in same tsetse infested environment (Ghibe)
      • Alternative opportunities to explore the genes of a possibly trypanotolerant breed
    • 8. Methods I – In the Field
      • Interview with farmers
      • 4 breeds in the areas where they are normally kept
      • 60 interviews per breed
      • Contained questions regarding:
      • Herd size and management, utility of cattle, constraints for cattle production, production and reproduction as well as diseases with a major focus on trypanosomosis
    • 9. Trypanosomosis challenge Abigar Gurage Horro Sheko
    • 10. Methods II – In the Field
      • Sampling
      • Performed at peak challenge period
      • 100 animals per breed
      • Blood: PCV and parasitaemia
      • Body measurements: Body length Heart girth Height at withers Body Condition Score
    • 11. Methods III – On Station
      • All breeds kept in the same tsetse infested environment in the Ghibe Valley 2000-2007
      • Monthly recordings
      • Parasitaemia
      • PCV
      • Live weight
      • 375 animals included
    • 12.  
    • 13. PCV – Home areas All breeds show a lower PCV when infected Horro and Sheko have the best PCV Breed Overall Non infected Infected Abigar 20.0 20.8 17.5 Gurage 22.7 23.1 21.2 Horro 26.2 27.2 21.3 Sheko 25.1 25.4 19.5
    • 14. PCV – Experimental station All breeds show a lower PCV when infected Sheko has the best PCV Breed Overall Non infected Infected Abigar 24.1 24.6 22.4 Gurage 22.5 23.7 20.3 Horro 23.0 23.7 20.4 Sheko 24.6 24.9 21.3
    • 15. PCV
      • All breeds showed lower PCV when infected, both in home area and on experimental station
    • 16. Infection Rate Sheko best in all three categories
    • 17. Trypanocidal Treatments Gurage in most need for treatments Little need for treatments in Sheko Home areas Exp. station Breed Treated within 3 weeks Not treated Treatm. per year Abigar
        • 40 %
        • 22 %
      3.8 8 % Gurage 98 % - 24.1 16 % Horro 12 % 9 % 3.6 12 % Sheko
        • 9 %
      47 % 1.0 5 %
    • 18. Survival rate – Experimental station Horro and Sheko highest survival Breed Purchased Born at station No. alive % No. alive % Abigar 32 45 6 67 Gurage 22 48 9 50 Horro 41 76 42 70 Sheko 38 57 39 78
    • 19. Reproductive characteristics – home areas Gurage have the worst reproduction Abigar and Sheko best reproduction Age 1 st mating (yrs) Calving Intervals (yrs) Calves born / cow (No.) Breed Male Female Abigar 3.3 3.0 1.1 8.8 Gurage 4.8 4.6 2.2 5.7 Horro 4.0 3.6 1.3 5.6 Sheko 3.5 3.5 1.3 8.5
    • 20. Reproductive characteristics – Experimental station
      • Abigar least favorable
      • Horro and Sheko best
      Breed Purchased females (No.) Calves born (No.) Calves per female Abigar 64 9 0.14 Gurage 41 18 0.44 Horro 49 60 1.22 Sheko 62 50 0.81
    • 21. Milk production Sheko and Abigar best in home areas Sheko and Horro best on station Home areas Exp. station Breed Lactation length (months) Estimated Total milk (l/lactation) Total milk (l/lactation) Abigar 7.8 527 271 Gurage 6.9 158 312 Horro 7.1 326 436 Sheko 8.8 627 397
    • 22. Body Size and Live Weight
      • Adult animals
      • Abigar and Horro largest
      • Gurage smallest
      • Calves born at station
      • Sheko and Horro largest
      • Gurage smallest
    • 23. Live Weight – purchased animals in Ghibe
    • 24. Body Condition Score All breeds show a lower BCS when infected Horro and Sheko show the best BCS Breed Overall Non infected Infected Abigar 2.90 2.97 2.73 Gurage 3.06 3.06 2.95 Horro 3.60 3.62 3.53 Sheko 3.40 3.41 2.92
    • 25. Conclusions
      • Gurage – Overall unfavorable characteristics
      • Abigar – Some good attributes but high parasitemia and low reproduction
      • Horro – Many favorable characteristics; survival
      • Sheko – The most favorable characteristics
        • Sheko is the most trypanotolerant!
        • Horro has also advantages!
    • 26. Papers
      • Livestock keeper perception of four indigenous cattle breeds in tsetse infested areas of Ethiopia
      • Trypanosomosis and phenotypic features of four indigenous cattle breeds in an Ethiopian field survey
      • Production, reproduction and trypanotolerance in four Ethiopian cattle breeds kept on station in a tsetse infested area
    • 27. Options for conservation and dissemination of genes of best breed(s) in tse-tse areas - facts and issues for discussion Jan Philipsson
    • 28. Summary of trypanotolerance of breeds investigated Horro Abigar Sheko Gurage - ? - - - + + + +
    • 29.
      • Gurage – Overall unfavorable characteristics
      • Abigar – Some good attributes but high parasitemia and low reproduction
      • Horro – Many favorable characteristics; survival rate
      • Sheko – The most favorable characteristics, but endangered breed
      Summary of trypanotolerance of the breeds
    • 30.
      • Small number remaining (~ 2400 animals)
      • Indiscriminate crossbreeding with highland zebu is taking place
      • Farmers´ perceptions about the breed and its utilities – what needs to be improved? (management, services, market, breed characteristics)
      • Focus on breed conservation rather than breed improvement at this stage
      Conservation of the Sheko breed neccessary
    • 31.
      • Provision and support of NS bulls in the Sheko area
      • Provision of AI service with Sheko semen
      • Community based breeding program?
      • Nucleus herds, where also ET might be used?
      • Use of sexed semen?
      • Testing and selection of breeding animals?
      Technology options for multiplication of the pure Sheko breed ?
    • 32.
      • Crossbreeding Sheko with less tolerant breeds - multiplication of trypanotolerant genes more important/effective than spreading the Sheko breed itself
      • Massive effects necessary to have impact - many bulls and good AI availability within the Sheko area as well as in other tse-tse infested areas
      Technology options for more widespread use of the Sheko breed ?
    • 33.
      • How to spread to new areas?
      • Farmers willingness to change breed - acceptance and demand
      • Capacity building
      • “ Spreading the word” regarding Sheko genes
      More widespread use of the Sheko breed ?
    • 34.
      • Big population and good traits; > 3 million heads
      • Crossing with Sheko to produce NS bulls for further crossbreeding with e.g. Gurage
      • A way of amplifying the good genes of both breeds?
      • Testing for trypanotolerance when selecting breeding stock?
      • Trypanotolerance of Sheko x Horro?
      • Acceptance and logistics?
      Possible use of Horro?
    • 35. Sheko and Horro
      • Research and experience show the availabilty of two breeds doing well in tse-tse infested areas
      • Time to implement results for improved trypano- tolerance of cattle for improved livelihood of people
      • How to do it needs discussion and your active involvement!