Packed cell volume as a measure of procine health and the implication on the control of sleeping sickness in Uganda
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Information about pig health in Uganda is greatly lacking and recent studies have indicated a high prevalence of trypanosome infections among pigs kept in tsetse infested and trypanosomosis endemic areas of Southern Uganda. This study looked at the packed cell volume as an indicator of the health status of the pigs kept in Southern Uganda. Whole blood was collected from pigs kept in three agroecological zones of Southern Uganda (designated as zone I, II and III) as these were predominant in the trypanosomosis endemic foci of Kamuli, Mukono and Tororo Districts respectively. The packed cell volume (PCV) for the three zones was recorded at averages of 34.70 %, 26.70 % and 33.32 % for zones I. II and III respectively. Meanwhile pale mucous membranes were observed only in some pigs (not qualified) with PCV ≤ 23% otherwise it was not a common finding. For the three zones 8.71 %; 18.37% and 21 .95% of the pigs from zones I, II & III respectively had PCV ≤ 23%. During the investigation there were no complaints of ill health of the pigs in all areas, save for zone III where African swine fever is thought to have been responsible for the death of pigs the previous year. Since this investigation was carried out at a time when the prevalence of Trypanosoma brucei infections were high among pigs in zone I and II, it is concluded that T.brucei sub-group infections among pigs are not associated with ill health of the pigs.