This week, researchers gathered in Nairobi for the first workshop of a project to develop improved vaccines for the control of East Coast fever in cattle in Africa
East Coast fever is caused by the protozoan parasite Theileria parva and ranks first in tick-borne disease constraints of cattle in sub-Saharan Africa and kills one animal every 30 seconds.
Collaborators in the project are the International Livestock Research Institute, Institute of Tropical Medicine at Antwerp, GALVmed, the Center for Tick and Tick-Borne Diseases, the Institute for Genome Sciences at University of Maryland, the Roslin Institute at University of Edinburgh, Royal Veterinary College, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and Washington State University.
The goal of the collaboration is to design subunit vaccines for the control of East Coast fever.
In phase 1, the project will undertake a range of key strategic activities in the research to product development continuum to:
- Improve aspects of the current sub-optimal live (infection and treatment method – ITM) East Coast fever vaccine.
- Fill knowledge gaps regarding the qualitative and quantitative aspects of acquired immune responses that mediate immunity to East Coast fever.
- Test the vaccine potential of candidate vaccine antigens and develop a more detailed antigen map.
The project is supported by:
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
- Normal Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative (NBCRI) of Feed the Future
- United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service
- CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish