Trypanosomiasis (Surra)

  • An important disease of cattle and buffalo caused by protozoa.
  • Transmitted mechanically by biting flies.
  • Cattle and buffalo also are reservoir hosts to horses and camels.
  • Blood from infected animal, occasionally meat and milk are the sources of infection.
  • There is severe loss of productivity due to anaemia. Animals under stress are more susceptible to the disease.



  • Progressive anaemia, weight loss and weakness.
  • Abortions, infertility and stillbirth may occur in buffaloes.
  • Cattle may have a chronic course with high mortality and may last up to 2 years.
  • Death may occur in 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • Oedematous swellings of the lower parts of the body (legs, briskets and abdomen) may be seen.
  • Lymph nodes also may be swollen.
  • Nervous signs like head tilt, circling, blindness, hyper-excitability, paddling movements may also be seen.


  • Control fly population (see chapter on fly control).
  • Sufficient ventilation  and sunlight should be available in the shed.
  • Insecticide applications may be done in the shed and surrounding areas under advice of a veterinarian.



  • Call the veterinarian immediately on seeing the symptoms for treatment.
  • Timely and early treatment ensures a high cure rate.


                                                                 Control biting flies – control Surra