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During its 20th annual meeting in Paris in May 1999, the OIE (World organisation for animal health) Ad Hoc Group on Non-Tsetse Transmitted Animal Trypanosomoses expressed the following concerns about dourine: the discrepancies in some of the results of the complement fixation test (CFT), which is the only international diagnostic test officially recognised by the International Organisation for the Transportation of Equidae; the persistence of suspected cases of dourine in some Asian, European and African countries; the impossibility of differentiating Trypanosoma equiperdum from Trypanosoma evansi and of isolating new strains of T. equiperdum from clinical cases that have appeared in various parts of the world since 1982. In the light of these concerns, it was decided, in agreement with the Directorate of the Federal Veterinary Services of Russia in Moscow, to perform comparative trials on the value of CFT/dourine at the OIE Reference Laboratory for dourine in Moscow (The All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Veterinary Medicine) using reagents (antigens and sera) from seven countries with extensive experience in the field of dourine diagnosis, namely, South Africa, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, the United States of America and the People's Republic of China. It is thanks to the successful co-operation of these countries that the trials were made possible. Results showed an overall concordance and were submitted for consideration to the OIE Biological Standards Commission, the commission which is in charge of the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. These trials serve as a starting point for further study, particularly in the following areas: the isolation of new strains of T. equiperdum from clinical dourine cases; the identification of specific markers for T. equiperdum which would make it possible to differentiate it from among the other species within the subgenus Trypanozoon; the experimental infection of horses with newly isolated T. equiperdum strains to compare their pathogenicity with those currently used in national diagnostic laboratories and with that of T. evansi; phylogenetic studies; the proposal and validation of new, internationally recognised diagnostic test(s) for dourine.