Life on the edge: tackling human African trypanosomiasis on the edge of wilderness areas

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Department Name: Vector Biology

Abstract

Boundary areas between different populations are the crucial places where pathogens spill over from one population to the other, and present a key risk for the emergence of new pathogens, or invasion by existing pathogens. An important example of this type of boundary are the edges of wilderness areas, where pathogens present naturally in wild animals can spill over to infect people and livestock living in the surrounding areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, this scenario often affects human populations with few economic resources. The proximity of vulnerable populations to areas harbouring pathogens provides a technical and moral challenge: how can biodiversity and economically productive wilderness areas be preserved without threatening the health and livelihoods of vulnerable people?

Our proposal will study the interaction between humans, livestock and wildlife and the role of this transition zone in the transmission of trypanosomes at the edge of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. These single-celled parasites are transmitted by the bite of tsetse flies. They do not cause any overt disease in wild animals within the Park, but humans bitten by tsetse infected with a particular species of trypanosome can develop sleeping sickness, a potentially fatal disease for which there is no preventative vaccine or drug. Other species of trypanosome also present in wild animals can cause a wasting, and ultimately fatal, disease in livestock.

Tsetse flies are highly mobile and can move from their natural habitat within the park to infect humans and livestock in surrounding areas. In east and southern Africa, the species of tsetse that transmit trypanosomes usually feed on wild animals rather than humans. However, changing housing and farming practices reduce the availability of wild hosts to tsetse and increase the risk of humans being bitten by infected flies. It is estimated that 12 million people in east and southern Africa are at risk of sleeping sickness and the preservation of wilderness areas present a chronic and intractable source of infection.
Preliminary data suggest however that there are restricted hotspots of disease risk, particularly at the edges of national parks, and that the application of modern methods of tsetse control to these hotspots will eliminate sleeping sickness foci.

To assess whether focussed control of tsetse is effective, we will develop mathematical models of the transmission of trypanosomes in the transition zone from wildlife-dominated areas on the park boundaries through to livestock-dominated areas outside the parks. The models will enable us to predict the likely extent, duration and cost of interventions required to interrupt the transmission of trypanosomes at boundary areas.

Parameter values for the models will be obtained using a combination of existing and new data on (i) the distribution, abundance, structure and infection status of tsetse populations, (ii) the densities of wildlife and livestock hosts, (iii) the number of livestock infected with trypanosomes, (iv) the composition and population genetics of the trypanosome populations and (v) the vegetational changes that occur at the boundary of the Serengeti National Park. The models will be validated by comparing the observed and predicted patterns of infection in the study area.

We will then use the models to predict the likely impact of various control interventions, and identify which are the most appropriate control measures for livestock keepers, NGOs and government agencies concerned with controlling trypanosomes at different distances from the boundaries of protected areas. The project's outputs will assist Tanzania and other countries affected by tsetse-borne trypanosomiases to develop cost-effective strategies for managing diseases at the transition zone between wildlife-protected and livestock-keeping areas.

Technical Summary

The zoonotic form of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense transmitted by tsetse flies. At the edge of wilderness areas, domestic cattle replace natural wild hosts (such as warthog and buffalo) as the principal reservoir host. We hypothesize that this shift towards a livestock-dominated system increases community reservoir potential and risk of human disease. Combining a wealth of ecological knowledge on the Serengeti ecosystem with new empirical data and models of HAT, we will quantify the transmission of trypanosomes across the ecotone between wilderness and settled areas and identify cost-effective strategies to interrupt transmission of HAT in the Serengeti and other wildeness areas of Africa.

To achieve this goal, we will:-

1: Develop novel models of the transmission of Rhodesian HAT which are spatially and temporally dynamic, thereby enabling us to model how the transmission of trypanosomes changes with the density, distribution and diversity of hosts and vectors.

2: Quantify the density, structure and feeding patterns of tsetse populations to test empirically the hypothesis that contact rates between host and vector species changes between wilderness and settled areas.

3: Identify and genotype trypanosomes from wild hosts, cattle and vectors to test empirically the hypothesis that the prevalence, population make-up and diversity of trypanosome populations changes across the ecotone and results in a greater risk of Rhodesian HAT.

4: Combine novel models (1) with empirical data (2,3) to identify 'ecologically smart' strategies to control human and animal trypanosomiasis in the Serengeti. The outputs will provide local, national and regional stakeholders with robust recommendations on cost-effective strategies to control human and animal trypanosomiasis in the wider Serengeti ecosystem and generate guidance on monitoring and managing Rhodesian HAT in wilderness areas.

Planned Impact

Our project will lead to more effective control strategies for reducing human African trypanosomiases (HAT). The potential economic and societal impacts include:-

Reduced incidence of HAT
HAT is endemic in 171000 km2 of sub-Saharan Africa, imposing an annual health burden of 0.6M DALYs. A global programme to eliminate HAT by 2020 is based on active screening and case treatment. This approach is ineffective against Rhodesian HAT, the zoonotic form of the disease which threatens ~12M people, particularly those living in or near wilderness areas where reservoir hosts and tsetse are abundant. We will identify cost-effective strategies to improve control of Rhodesian HAT foci through tsetse or livestock focused interventions. The main beneficiaries will therefore be people living near wilderness areas.

Reduced burden of animal trypanosomiasis
The outputs from this project will also be used to improve efforts to control African Animal Trypanosomiasis which kills >1 million cattle a year across 35 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Cheap and effective methods of tsetse control will also reduce the ~$35M spent annually by livestock keepers on trypanocides in Africa. Tanzania has the third largest livestock population in Africa, and a high proportion of poor livestock keepers; >4 million cattle are threatened by trypanosomiasis. Increasing animal productivity is likely to impact particularly on the rural poor, both in Tanzania and other affected countries.

Improved cost-effectiveness of strategies to control HAT in Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa
In 2010-11, 48000 insecticide-treated targets were deployed to control tsetse in Tanzania, including 10000 specifically to control HAT in the Serengeti. Outputs from this project will ensure that these resources are deployed for maximum effect. Government, NGO, international (AU-PATTEC, WHO, FAO) and donor (DFID, BMGF) organizations concerned with controlling HAT will have more cost-effective options and decision support tools, provided via engagement workshops and online resources. The role of TTRI (project partners) as advisors to the Tanzanian Government on tsetse control, and our close links with the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries, will ensure that project outputs reach policy makers to impact on future tsetse control plans. In particular, outputs from this project will contribute to the design and implementation of a programme to control trypanosomiasis over 15000 km2 of the Serengeti ecosystem being developed jointly by PATTEC and the governments of Kenya and Tanzania with support from BADEA.

Robust tourism industry
Tourism is a significant contributor to the Tanzanian economy and maintenance of wilderness areas as attractive and safe destinations is crucial. Even low numbers of HAT cases in tourists can have a significant impact on tourism. Preventing outbreaks of HAT is therefore important for both public and private sectors. This project will help to ensure that managers of protected areas have access to information on optimal tsetse control strategies.

Environmentally sensitive approaches
Tsetse and trypanosomiasis control can impact on non-target species and contribute to the development of drug and acaricide resistance. This project will promote strategies with negligible environmental impact, of particular importance in UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Serengeti.

Improved capacity for trypanosomiasis research in Tanzania
The partnership of TTRI with world leading UK institutions will support the development of Tanzanian research in areas such as genetic analyses and mathematical modelling.

We will maximise this impact via three impact pathways:
1) Provide information to assist local decision making in the Serengeti area.
2) Contribute to a national trypanosomiasis control strategy for Tanzania.
3) Contribute to regional tsetse control initiatives.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Auty H (2015) Cattle trypanosomosis: the diversity of trypanosomes and implications for disease epidemiology and control. in Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics)

 
Description 1. There are low numbers of tsetse outside the Serengeti protected areas. In general, numbers of tsetse declined from 5km inside to 5km outside the protected area, with no tsetse caught >5 km from the boundary. Analysis of correlations between landcover and tsetse density suggested that this decline is due, in part, to degradation of the habitat related to settlement and farming activities, but that this does not fully explain tsetse distributions.
2. We found a small number of tsetse carrying Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense within the protected areas, confirming the continuing low level circulation of sleeping sickness and hence risk of human disease. This was expected and is unlikely to change. We have not found flies carrying T. b. rhodesiense outside the wilderness areas. Given that low numbers of tsetse will move from SNP to the farming areas, there is a small risk of HAT outside the park.
3. The prevalence of T. brucei in cattle is 2%, lower than that reported in 2001 (5.6% Kaare et al. 2007). T. b. rhodesiense was not detected in cattle.
4. Questionnaire surveys of livestock keepers found that cattle are regularly treated with a pyrethroid, alphacypermethrin, via dipping and/or spraying to control vectors of the protozoan parasites that cause animal trypanosomiasis (Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax) and East Coast Fever (Theileria parva). Farmers are also treating their animals regularly with trypanocides.
5. Preliminary models of tsetse populations suggest that the decline in the density of tsetse and prevalence of trypanosomes outside the SNP is due to a combination of degraded habitat, decline in wild hosts and high densities of insecticide-treated cattle.
6. While risk of HAT is low outside the SNP, prevalence of animal trypanosomiasis is relatively high (>15% prevalence in the 2016 cross-sectional survey). Livestock keepers with larger herds have a lower AAT burden, suggesting that good use of drugs and insecticides can reduce the impact on animal health and productivity.
7. Widespread use of trypanocides and pyrethroids may be controlling AAT but in the longer term could lead to resistance developing in trypanosome and tick populations.
Exploitation Route Outcomes from this project have led to further research on the transmission dynamics of Rhodesiense HAT at the interface of conservation areas in Tanzania and Malawi.

The methods developed by this project are being used in large-scale programmes to control Gambian HAT in DRC and Uganda.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Healthcare

URL https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/projects/life-on-the-edge
 
Description The project started on September 1 2014. In October 2014, project team members contributed to a consultation at WHO (Geneva, 20-22 October 2014) on global plans for eliminating Rhodesian HAT as a public health problem. In particular, Dr Auty made a presentation on the role of wild hosts, Prof. Hargrove made a presentation on mathematical models of Rhodesian HAT and Prof. Torr made a presentation on vector control. A report on the meeting is available here: https://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/meeting_declaration_rhodesiense_2014/en/ In April 2017, Torr made a presentation at a second meeting of the second WHO stakeholders on rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis (Geneva, 26-28 April 2017) with a particular emphasis on vector control. A report on the meeting is available here: https://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/resources/WHO_HTM_NTD_IDM_2017.04/en/
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description An integrated approach to tackling drug resistance in livestock trypanosomes.
Amount £528,455 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S00243X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description ENABLES: Enabling Livestock-keepers to Eliminate Sleeping Sickness
Amount £387,127 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S01375X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 10/2020
 
Description Epidemiological consequences of reproductive senescence in a long-lived vector
Amount £386,872 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P005888/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 08/2020
 
Description International Disease Dynamics and Data Research Scholars Exchange Program 2016
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Department National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 04/2016 
End 07/2016
 
Description Scottish Funding Council - Universities Innovation Fund
Amount £9,960 (GBP)
Organisation Scotland's Rural College 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 06/2017
 
Title Electrocuting nets 
Description Improved design of electrocuting net for sampling tsetse and other vectors 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None to date (24/2/2016) 
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0004169
 
Title Predictive map of the distribution and density of tsetse in northern Tanzania 
Description Geospatial model of the distribution and abundance of tsetse in northern Tanzania. The tool allows control practitioners to identify potential 'hot spots' of disease transmission. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The model and its outputs were presented at a stakeholder meeting in Arusha and highlighted the potential impact of vector control activities being undertaken by livestock keepers. 
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.13091/abstract
 
Title Xenomonitoring tryps 
Description Method of screening tsetse for trypanosomes 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None to date (24/2/2106) 
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0004441
 
Title Model of the impact of climate change on tsetse populations 
Description An ODE model which analyses the impact of changes in environmental temperature on the dynamics of tsetse populations. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact No notable impact to date. 
URL https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002675
 
Title Model of tsetse distribution and abundance 
Description Geospatial model of the distribution and abundance of tsetse 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Providing evidence of the impact of farmer-based interventions on tsetse populations and trypanosomiasis. 
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.13091/abstract
 
Description Roslin 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department The Roslin Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Conducting field- and lab-based investigations of tsetse
Collaborator Contribution Conducting field- and lab-based investigations of trypanosomes
Impact Co-authored papers (see publications outcome)
Start Year 2014
 
Description SACEMA 
Organisation University of Stellenbosch
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Field- and laboratory-based investigations of tsetse.
Collaborator Contribution Development of models of tsetse populations.
Impact Joint publications (see Publications Outputs)
Start Year 2014
 
Description SRUC 
Organisation Scotland's Rural College
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Field- and laboratory-based investigations of tsetse
Collaborator Contribution Field- and laboratory-based investigations of trypanosomes
Impact See joint papers in Publications Output
Start Year 2014
 
Description TTRI 
Organisation Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Research Institute
Country Tanzania, United Republic of 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Field- and laboratory-based investigations of tsetse
Collaborator Contribution Field-based studies of tsetse
Impact None to date (24 February 2016)
Start Year 2014
 
Description Annual meeting of the ZELS and ZELS-AS programme at the Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology (NMIST), Arusha, Tanzania 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was a four day meeting of the ZELS projects and the associated ZELS PhD students (ZELS-AS). The meeting combined presentations from each of the projects and PhD students as well as small breakout group and plenary discussions on overarching themes including:-

Learning from ZELS: Challenges Encountered and Solutions Developed

-Approvals and research clearance
-Ethics
-Field logistics
-Communications
-Health and safety
-Working with partners
-Lab facilities
-Publishing

Advancing Interdisciplinarity to Tackle Global Challenges

-Publishing interdisciplinary research
-University structure - integration or silos?
-Funding interdisciplinary research
-Funding panel composition
-Navigating government departmental priorities

Stakeholder Engagement

-Policy engagement
-Community engagement
-Funding for engagement
-Follow-up post project
-Effective messages (content and timing)

Progressing ZELS research and capacity strengthening after programme end
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description BSP meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact April 2015: Torr organized a meeting on 'Emerging diseases and zoonoses" at the Spring meeting of the British Society for Parasitology (14 - 18 April 2015, Liverpool UK). Presentations were made on novel methods of screening tsetse for trypanosomes (Cunningham), diet of tsetse in the Serengeti (Auty), transmission of Japanese encephalitis virus in Bangladesh (Lord) and models of HAT (Rock).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description CDC/KEMRI, Kisumu, Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation on research, development and application of vector control tools to scientists and practitioners in Kenya.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description COCTU meeting, Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact March 2015: Andrew Hope (LSTM) made a presentation on vector-based interventions against HAT at the COCTU partners meeting in Kampala (30 March 2015).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Contribute to inaugural meeting of the VectorBiTe Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The VectorBehavior in Transmission Ecology Research Coordination Network (VectorBiTE RCN) seeks to build a collaborative network of researchers working on VBDs and to provide them with tools to better understand and explore how variation in vector behavior and life history drive transmission dynamics. Dr Jennie Lord, a post-doctoral researcher on this project, received funding from the Vector BiTE RCN to attend the inaugural meeting in Clearwater, Fkorida, USA.

The goal of the network is:-

The goal of the Vector Behavior in Transmission Ecology Research Coordination Network (VectorBiTE RCN) to increase interaction between researchers in the diverse fields studying VBDs, to encourage collection and consolidation of key data, and to encourage development of analytical tools to better understand the role of vector behavior in transmission ecology.

The RCN will meet the overall goal by pursuing four main objectives:

The development of theoretical models that include more details of vector behavior and heterogeneity;
Improved data collection and statistical methods to enable such models to be confronted with data;
Development of comprehensive and freely available parameterization and validation datasets to allow testing of methods and comparison between proposed models in a transparent fashion;
Training young researchers to apply these new tools and models as they are developed.
We will facilitate the development of new transmission models and their integration with empirical data using cutting edge quantitative methods to better understand the processes that drive transmission patterns in vector borne diseases. We will bring together specialists in vector behavioral ecology, epidemiology, theoretical ecology, mathematics, and statistics to promote open exchange of ideas, data, and tools to tackle this problem. Network participants will include a diverse group of researchers working on vector- borne disease working in systems across human, animal, and plant systems, ranging from relatively simple single host/vector/pathogen systems to complex systems with multiple hosts/vectors/pathogens, and varying in transmission environment (agricultural, rural, fragmented, and urban).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://vectorbite.org/
 
Description ECTMIH 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at the the European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health, 16-20 September 2019, Liverpool by Dr Jennifer Lord. The title of the presentation was "Trypanosome transmission and control at the wildlife-livestock interface"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ECTMIH 2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Rachel Lea on "A novel method to monitor use of insecticide treated cattle to control human and animal African trypanosomiasis in Tanzania" to an audience of researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ectmih2019.org/
 
Description ENVT summer school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture on tsetse biology and control to a summer school comprising post-graduate students and early-career researchers from Europe and Africa. The summer school is organised and hosted by the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.envt.fr/content/universit%C3%A9-d%E2%80%99%C3%A9t%C3%A9-en-entomologie-m%C3%A9dicale-et-v...
 
Description GEOMED 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Rachel Lea on "Predicting tsetse abundance: remote sensing and the impact of insecticide treated cattle in Tanzania" to an audience of researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/conferences/geomed/
 
Description Keystone Conference, Durban 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Brought together researchers working on a wide range of vector-borne diseases which sparked discussions and new collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.keystonesymposia.org/17T1
 
Description Kick-off meetings for COMBAT and ENABLES projects with presentations on original ZELS project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Kick-off workshop for COMBAT and ENABLES project which build on the original ZELS project. As part of the meeting, we made presentations on the original ZELS project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://twitter.com/HarrietAuty/status/1100414020408897537
 
Description Meeting with livestock keepers in Serengeti District, Tanzania 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Serengeti District, January 2017: Stakeholder meeting for 60 farmers and village leaders who participated in the cross-sectional livestock survey conducted in 2016. Included District Veterinary Officer and livestock extension officers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PATTEC meeting, Zimbabwe 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact November 2015: Vale led a field-based workshop on various aspects of the control of tsetse and trypanosomiasis, arranged as part of the 13th Meeting of the PATTEC National Coordinators/Focal Points (Harare & Urungwe District, 24-27 November 2014). The workshop included a meeting with several hundred stakeholders from Zimbabwe, comprising local farmers and officials, at Nyamakati (Urungwe District). International stakeholders present included representatives from all African countries and international agencies (WHO, IAEA, FAO, BMGF) concerned with HAT.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description RES meeting, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Workshop at the Linnean Society, organised with the Royal Entomological Society's Special Interest Groups on (i) Medical and Veterinary Entomology and (ii) Insect Ecology. SJT was the co-organiser.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.royensoc.co.uk/special-interest-groups/medical-veterinary
 
Description Regional HAT control meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact June 2015: Torr made contributions to a meeting concerned with co-ordinating a regional programme to control HAT across Uganda, DRC and South Sudan ("Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Southern Sudan regional meeting on tsetse and trypanosomiasis"; 15-19 June). Participants included leaders of the national programmes against HAT in Uganda, DRC and South Sudan, representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and personnel from local (i.e., District) health, agriculture and local government directly involved with HAT control operations in Uganda.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Roundtable, Tanga, Tanzania 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Tanga Round Table were given a short presentation on sleeping sickness and its control.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stakeholder meeting at WHO on Rhodesian Sleeping Sickness 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The meeting reviewed current practice and policy related to the control of Rhidesian sleeping sickness. I made an invited presentation on tsetse control.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.fao.org/paat/news-and-events/events/detail-events/en/c/1179507/
 
Description Stakeholder meeting at WHO, Geneva 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Geneva, April 2017: "Second WHO stakeholders meeting on rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis". Global stakeholder meeting with representatives from all countries where Rhodesian HAT is still endemic (Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) and other stakeholders including DNDi, FIND and WHO. The discussions and documents emerging from this meeting contributed to the formulation of WHO's global strategy to eliminate Rhodesian HAT.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/259531/1/WHO-HTM-NTD-IDM-2017.04-eng.pdf
 
Description Stakeholders meeting, Arusha, Tanzania 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We presented findings from the project to stakeholders from the Tanzanian national and local government institutions. The presentations stimulated discussions about Tanzania's national policy for controlling human and animal trypanosomiasis and identification of important research questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Trypanosomatid Meeting VI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Torr of a lecture entitled "Tsetse control in a changing world" to an audience of ~100 researchers working on trypanosomes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://research.pasteur.fr/en/event/trypanosomatid-parasites-meeting-vi-from-the-lab-to-the-field/
 
Description Trypanosomiasis meeting, Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The University of Bristol hosted a meeting on Livestock trypanosomiasis between 26 - 27th February 2018 to bring together experts working in endemic countries in Africa with UK and European researchers in order to focus on the current problems of animal trypanosomiasis in endemic countries and explore avenues for future collaborative work. Topics covered include epidemiology of livestock trypanosomiasis, diagnosis, current treatment practices, mechanisms and spread of drug resistance, drug development, tsetse genetics and control. JSL made a presentation on our work in Tanzania.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meeting-on-livestock-trypanosomiasis-tickets-41234956866
 
Description TsetseNet Ghana 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr Jennifer Lord on "Tsetse and animal African trypanosomiasis control amid rapid anthropogenic change"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description WHO meeting on R-HAT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact October 2015: Auty, Hargrove and Torr attended the "First WHO stakeholders meeting on rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis control" in Geneva (20 - 21 October 2014). All major international players in the control and eradication of Rhodesian HAT were present including representatives from the governments of Tanzania (Ministry of Health, TANAPA), Uganda and Malawi and international organisations such as WHO, FAO, IAEA and AU-PATTEC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0003571
 
Description Workshop for Tanzanian-based projects in the ZELS programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Arusha, Tanzania (September 2018). Harriet Auty gave a presentation on "Human African Trypanosomiasis at the interface of farming and wilderness areas" at the final meeting of all the Tanzania-based projects supported by the ZELS programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop on mathematical modelling of tsetse and trypanosomiasis at the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA), Stellenbosch, South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In the last week of June 2016, fifteen scientists converged on Stellenbosch for a week-long intensive workshop, hosted by SACEMA, aimed at sharing their knowledge of the problems and prospects associated with modelling the population dynamics of tsetse flies (Glossina spp) and the trypanosomes that they transmit in Africa to game animals, domestic livestock and humans. Visiting participants came from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, and from the Universities of Cambridge, Cape Town, Free State, Texas and Warwick. The participants represented a range of disciplines - epidemiology, physiology, evolutionary ecology and mathematical biology - and included new tsetse researchers through to those who have been in the field for nearly 50 years.

The workshop was funded through the WHO/TDR/IDRC programme: Human African Trypanosomiasis: alleviating the effects of climate change through understanding human-vector-parasite interactions and, accordingly, there was a considerable emphasis on the effects of climate, and particularly temperature, on the population dynamics of the vectors and the parasites. The event was a "workshop" in the true sense of the word, with half of the second day, and large proportions of the last three days, being given over to break-out sessions where the participants formed ad hoc groups to work on problems of mutual interest. This provided the particularly important opportunity for the four graduate student attendees to interact with each of the more senior researchers.

The centrality of climate to the proceedings was emphasised by UCT's Lisa van Aardenne's analysis of data from Rekomitjie Research Station, in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe, where meteorological records have been produced almost continuously over the past 57 years. That analysis showed a very clear increase in temperature over the period and Glyn Vale showed that these temperature increases, linked to some extreme events, have been associated with declines of 80-98% in the tsetse populations around Rekomitjie. Vale's Excel simulation studies produced results consistent with a causal link between the meteorological events and declines in tsetse populations. It was suggested that the further increases in temperatures predicted for the next few decades will cause the tsetse populations at Rekomitjie to disappear, with G. pallidipes going before G. m. morsitans. The climate on higher ground in Zimbabwe will become more suitable for tsetse.

A variety of other modelling techniques were on display. Roux-Cil Ferreira presented a brave attempt to develop an agent-based approach to the modelling of a very large mark-recapture data set from Zimbabwe. Furthermore, differential equation modelling techniques, applied both to tsetse and trypanosome biology, were presented by Rachid Ouifki, and the graduate students Nada Abdelatif, Spencer Fox, Tokpa Jamah and Zinhle Mthombothi, most often using data from Zimbabwe. Similarly, in the east African context Paul Bessell modelled trypanosome dynamics in wild hosts, and Kat Rock gave two presentations on different aspects of modelling trypanosomiasis dynamics and control in countries like the DRC. Of particular importance in her presentations was the indication that vector control using simple, affordable "tiny targets" could be game changing in the battle against Gambian trypanosomiasis.

Sinead English, meanwhile, considered the consequences of maternal effects for tsetse population dynamics, trypanosome epidemiology and the evolutionary responses of tsetse to environmental change. John Hargrove provided an analysis of age specific trypanosome prevalences found in tsetse at Rekomitjie. He also made a presentation on behalf of Sarah Ackley (UCSF), who was unable to attend the workshop, but who has developed a differential equation modelling approach that promises to provide improved estimates of adult tsetse mortality from ovarian dissection data. Jennifer Lord presented work carried out both in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, addressing tsetse and trypanosome population dynamics in areas at the edge of wildlife areas and asking questions about the relationship between vector disease and host densities.

Given the large body of field work that has been carried out in Zimbabwe on tsetse and trypanosome biology, and on the development there of methods for the control of the vectors and the disease, there was a considerable emphasis during the workshop on the analysis of results from Zimbabwe and of application of models to those data. Stephen Torr reminded the meeting, however, that the biology of the riverine Palpalis group tsetse, and Gambian human sleeping sickness, typical of West Africa, present problems entirely different from those seen in eastern and southern Africa, both for the modeller and for the people tasked with controlling trypanosomiasis. In this regard his talk and Kat Rock's provided details of the exciting prospect that the use of insecticide-treated "tiny targets" provide a real prospect of speeding up the elimination of Gambian sleeping sickness in Africa.

Finally, John Terblanche provided an entirely new and refreshing approach: viewing tsetse population dynamics through the lens of ecological energetics. He considered evolutionary trade-offs, links to other traits, such as water loss and reproductive output, and asked how we might integrate key traits of energetics into population dynamics models. The enthusiastic reception of his ideas by the meeting typified the open spirit of the workshop and gives hope that the event will spur serious advances in the near future in the analysis of tsetse and trypanosome populations and in the further development of improved, economical, eco-friendly techniques for disease control. The workshop has already given rise to new connections and collaborations, kicking off with a joint article currently being written by the participants, and a hope for an early reconvening of the group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://sacemaquarterly.com/conferences/tsetse-trypanosomiasis-modelling-workshop.html
 
Description Workshop on the achievements of our project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop to other members of the ZELS program, representatives from BBSRC and DFID and the programme advisory panel. Rachel Lea made a presentation on the project and a case study of our project was made available on the world-wide web. https://bbsrc.ukri.org/documents/1902-casestudy-zels-hat/. Rachel Lea also made a presentation on a new project which will build on the findings of our original ZELS project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/news/health/2019/190225-n-the-fight-against-animal-to-human-diseases/
 
Description ZELS launch meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact December 2015: Byamungu, Mramba and Torr attended the launch meeting of the ZELS programme in Arusha (9-14 December) and made presentations on the objectives and activities of the project to Tanzanian stakeholders, including local authorities, research and policy stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015