Two groups of Trypanosoma congolense isolates collected from cattle in 1996 (n = 39) and 2003 (n = 38) in the Eastern Province of Zambia were analyzed by BclI-PCR-RFLP to assess the evolution of diminazene aceturate (DA) resistance over a period of seven years. The results show a significant increase of DA resistance in this relatively short period of time. In 1996, among the 39 isolates, 61.5% were found sensitive, 12.8% resistant and 25.7% had a mixed BclI-PCR-RFLP profile. In 2004, among the 38 isolates, 10.5% were found sensitive, 63.2% were resistant and 26.3% showed a mixed BclI-PCR-RFLP profile. In vivo tests in mice showed that isolates with a sensitive or mixed RFLP profile were sensitive to DA whereas isolates with a resistant RFLP profile were resistant. Since there are no indications that the drug pressure has
increased between 1996 and 2003, it is suggested that genetic exchange of resistance genes might explain the increased frequency of resistance to DA.