Associations between monthly rainfall and mortality in cattle due to East Coast fever, anaplasmosis and babesiosis

Richard Chepkwony*, Carolina Castagna, Ignas Heitkönig, Severine Van Bommel, Frank Van Langevelde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Weather conditions can impact infectious disease transmission, causing mortalities in humans, wild and domestic animals. Although rainfall in dry tropical regions is highly variable over the year, rainfall is thought to play an important role in the transmission of tick-borne diseases. Whether variation in rainfall affects disease-induced mortalities is, however, poorly understood. Here, we use long-term data on monthly rainfall and Boran cattle mortality (1998-2017) to investigate associations between within-year variation in rainfall and cattle mortalities due to East Coast fever (ECF), anaplasmosis and babesiosis in Laikipia, Kenya, using ARIMAX modelling. Results show a negative correlation between monthly rainfall and cattle mortality for ECF and anaplasmosis, with a lag effect of 2 and 6 months, respectively. There was no association between babesiosis-induced mortalities and monthly rainfall. The results of this study suggest that control of the tick-borne diseases ECF and anaplasmosis to reduce mortalities should be intensified during rainy periods after the respective estimated time lags following dry periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1751
Issue number14
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • animal diseases
  • indigenous cattle
  • tick-borne diseases
  • ticks
  • Time series analysis


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