KETRI The Orma Boran Galana Ranch

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Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute
The Boran cattle of the Orma people in the Tana River District of Kenya, an indigenous Bos indicus breed, have been studied by the Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute (KETRl) on Galana Ranch in the Coastal Province of Kenya since 1980. There they have been compared under tsetse challenge to the home bred Galana Borans, improved Kenya Borans that originated in the Kenya Highlands. Orma Boran steers did better than Galana Boran steers under tsetse challenge. Trypanosome prevalence, particularly Trypanosoma vivax prevalence, was lower in the Orma Boran compared with the Galana Boran. Once detected parasitaemic the Orma breed were less likely to suffer from severe anaemia and in some cases they recovered without treatment. Infection and mortality rates from the disease in the Orma are approximately half those observed in the Galana Borans. Under both prophylactic and treatment regimens the Orma cattle required fewer drugs. Acquired resistance to trypanosomosis was not an important factor in explaining the observed differences between the two Boran types. Comparisons between Orma and Galana calves showed that the differences existed in animals born in the same environment and exposed from birth to the same tsetse challenge