After introducing the basic problems of trypanosomiasis of
domestic stock in tropical Africa, a review is given of the historical
development of research, trypanosome nomenclature, some
immunological aspects of the disease, the diagnostic techniques
in current use, and some of the trypanosome handling methods.
The development, of techniques for the serological study of
Trypanosoma congolense, and their subsequent use in experiments
studying antigenic variation of these trypanosomes and the immune
response they induce in infected cattle, is described. A serological
examination of populations of T.congolense, before and after
cyclical passage through the tsetse fly(Glossina morsitans), is
also undertaken using the same techniques. The agglutination test
is used to examine the antigenic relationship of geographically
distinct isolates of the brucei sub -group trypanosomes. The efficacy
of infection with virulent trypanosomes followed by chemotherapy
as an immunization procedure, and the value of an indirect fluorescent
antibody test as a diagnostic aid, in cattle infected with
pathogenic trypanosomes, are subsequently studied.
A discussion follows with particular reference to the advances
made in this study, the types of acquired immune mechanism which
develop in cattle infected with pathogenic trypanosomes, the
feasibility of immunological control of trypanosomiasis, and the
use of serological tests in diagnosis.