AFSCAN Concluded A Pan-African Infectious Disease Surveillance Program

AFSCAN concluded a Pan-African Infectious Disease Surveillance Program


The African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN), a project of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) charitable Foundation, has concluded amulti-country infectious disease surveillance studythat providednovel data on the prevalence and distribution of ectoparasites (fleas and ticks) and vector-borne pathogens in dogs and cats in six sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

Based on thecollection of biological samples (ectoparasites, blood andserum), the study attempted to answer the following questions:(1) To which extent do ectoparasite and their pathogencommunities vary macro-geographically? (2) Are parasitecommunities in urbanized areas similar to those of ruralareas? (3) Which additional extrinsic risk factors and hostcharacteristics (age, sex, health status, anti-parasite treatment)are related toectoparasite infestations and pathogenprevalence (within the group of ectoparasite-infestedanimals)?

Each country provided samples of dogs and cats from urban and rurallocations.The surveillance program, led by Emeritus Professor Michael J Day, was launched at a meeting of the participants, held in Arusha, Tanzania, on December 5th, 2018, and was supported by Bayer Animal Health.

As a result of the project, two studies (one for dogs and one for cats) were published in the scientific journal Parasite and Vectors, and can be downloaded for free here:

This is the largest and most significant research programme to emerge from the highly successful AFSCAN project.