Epidemiology, Economics and Risk Assessment

Measuring the burden of zoonosis and livestock diseases in Cameroon

EERA has a long history in carrying out epidemiological studies in Cameroon to better understand the burden of diseases in animal and human populations.

Livestock keepers in Cameroon group photo


EERA Livestock  Networks in Cameroon


Understanding livestock movement networks is key to understanding and controlling the spread of infectious diseases. In high income countries animals are restricted to specific farm locations and their movements can be traced easily. In sub-Saharan Africa however, animals mix in very different ways with access to communal grazing, seasonal movements for transhumance and complex trading patterns.

This project aims to describe the livestock market networks, how animals flow through this network and how it connects out to herds. Using this we will develop a simulation model that will allow us to explore transmission of endemic diseases such as FMD through the network and explore the impacts of interventions like market closures.


Epidemiology of Bovine Tuberculosis in Cameroon


The Cameroon bovine tunerculosis project was a Wellcome Trust funded study of the epidemiology and phylodynamics of bovine tuberculosis in cattle and their herders in Cameroon. The project was a collaboration between the Roslin Institute, the University of Buea (Cameroon), the Swiss TPH, IRAD (Cameroon) and Ministry of Health Cameroon.

Bovine tuberculosis is an important infectious disease of livestock (particularly cattle), which has the potential to infect humans exposed to infected milk or meat. The project collected new data from a random sample of cattle across the three main cattle rearing regions of Cameroon (The North West, the Adamawa and the Extreme North) to identify management (herd-level) and animal-level factors that affect the spatial patterns of disease and which may identify mechanisms to improve control. Furthermore, screening of animals at slaughter allowed the identification of infected animals from which bacteria were cultured and their specific genetic strains were identified and demonstrated that Cameroon has a highly diverse M. bovis population with different strains dominating in different regions driven by livestock movements.

We are still continuing analysis of the data and samples looking at the association between host genetics and infection, estimating the test performance of the diagnostic tests in this population as well as the impact of coinfections with bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) and enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL).

Further through a number of student projects we are screening the banked sera for a list of other infectious diseases including rift valley fever (RVF), Congo-Crimea haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), brucella sp., Q fever, leptospirosis and foot and mouth disease (FMD).


Select publications


Bronsvoort BM, Bagninbom JM, Ndip L, Kelly RF, Handel I, Tanya VN, Morgan KL, Ngwa VN, Mazeri S, Nfon C. Comparison of Two Rift Valley Fever Serological Tests in Cameroonian Cattle Populations Using a Bayesian Latent Class Approach. Frontiers in veterinary science. 2019;6. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00258

Motta P, Porphyre T, Handel I, Hamman SM, Ngu Ngwa V, Morgan KL, Tanya VN, Bronsvoort BM. Characterizing livestock markets, primary diseases and key management practices along the livestock supply chain in Cameroon. Frontiers in veterinary science. 2019;6:101. doi:10.3389/fvets.2019.00101

Motta P, Handel IG, Rydevik G, Hamman SM, Ngwa VN, Tanya VN, Morgan KL, Bronsvoort BM, Porphyre T. Drivers of live cattle price in the livestock trading system of central Cameroon. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 2018 Jan 17;4:244. doi: fvets.2017.00244

Egbe NF, Muwonge A, Ndip L, Kelly RF, Sander M, Tanya V, Ngwa VN, Handel IG, Novak A, Ngandalo R, Mazeri S. Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis in Cameroon. Scientific reports. 2017 Jul 5;7(1):4652. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04230-6