Development of low cost, low environmental impact surra control technologies and strategies developed for camel diseases vectors (within the Integrated Biological Control Applied Research Programme -- IBCARP)

IBCARP is an initiative aimed at supporting the adoption of proven icipe technologies and strategies for improved cereal, horticulture and livestock productivity by an estimated 350,000 additional farmers and pastoralists in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

In the arid and semiarid parts of Africa (ASALs) development is constrained by low agricultural productivity that is often exacerbated by drought.  In these areas camels are usually the most sustainable agricultural resource for nomads and pastoralists.  

Although camels are well adapted to life in arid areas, many diseases affect their health and productivity; the most important of which is a vector borne disease called ‘surra’ (camel trypanosomiasis). Surra caused by a protozoan Trypanosoma evansi is extremely debilitating and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in camels.

The disease, transmitted non-cyclically by haematophagus flies is endemic in Africa, Middle East countries, Asia and South America. Prevalence of surra in countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia may be as high as 30%. Although biting flies (Tabanids and Stomoxys) have been implicated as vectors of surra, their exact role in the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis is not clear. 

Through IBCARP, icipe will build on experience and knowledge gained through the development of technologies for the control of savannah tsetse flies – which, in addition to the repellent collars, also include traps and odour baits – to initiate new research for the control of camel disease vectors in arid and semi-arid lands of SSA. Specifically, the focus will be on surra, a parasitic disease of camels and other mammals caused by trypanosomes, transmitted by biting flies.

The objective of this research component will thus be to develop an effective attractive and repellent management system to reduce fly populations. These components will be put together in a holistic camel health package for wider validation/optimisation and dissemination in the envisaged second phase for use by pastoralists.


  • European Union
  • icipe core funds

For further information, contact:

Dan Masiga (