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Doctoral thesis2021Open access

Crossing the line – Tracking transboundary diseases in trade and across international borders in Zambia and Tanzania

Lysholm, Sara


Transboundary diseases in small ruminants constitute a threat to health, livelihoods and society in Zambia and Tanzania. Animal trade and movement, both of which tend to increase close to international borders, are known drivers of disease spread. This thesis was guided by three overarching aims. The first aim was to investigate the impact of trade and border proximity on the seroprevalence of peste des petits ruminants (PPR), contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), foot and mouth disease (FMD), sheeppox and goatpox (SGP), Rift Valley fever (RVF), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and brucellosis in sheep and goats in Zambia and in the Tanzania-Zambia border region. The second aim was to investigate how the perceptions and practices of Zambian small ruminant traders and slaughterhouse workers influence the risk of disease spread. The third aim was to investigate the seropositivity rate of brucellosis, Q-fever and RVF in sheep and goats in Zambia’s two largest small ruminant markets, and risks for exposure to these and other zoonotic diseases at a market slaughterhouse. To meet these aims, seroepidemiology was combined with semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and observations. The results indicated that most of the surveyed pathogens are circulating in parts of Zambia and Tanzania, and proximity to international borders was generally associated with reduced seroprevalence. While the impact of trade on seroprevalence varied, the perceptions and practices of small ruminant traders pose risks of disease dissemination through trade. The presence of zoonotic pathogens at small ruminant markets in Zambia coupled with insanitary procedures at slaughter represent potential threats to public health. In conclusion, small ruminant transboundary diseases pose serious risks. Informed control strategies adapted to the local context could mitigate these risks, improving the health and welfare of animals and humans alike.


sheep; goat; transboundary disease; zoonosis; international border; trade; markets; epidemiology; semi-structured interviews; focus group discussions

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2021, number: 2021:79
ISBN: 978-91-7760-835-6, eISBN: 978-91-7760-836-3
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences