This article provides a short history of the ‘live’ vaccine (officially known as the infection-and-immunization method of immunization) protecting Africa’s cattle against the lethal cattle disease East Coast fever and names the major funding agencies critical to its development over the last four decades and its deployment in more recent years.
Researchers at Washington State University have begun work on a vaccine that could save the lives of millions of cattle around the world. The disease, known as East Coast fever, killed more than 1 million cattle in 11 countries and cost ranchers more than $300 million last year, according to an international research group that includes Washington State University.
The RVC (through Professor Dirk Werling) is involved in a multi-national program grant entitled “Improved vaccines for the control of East Coast fever in cattle in Africa”. This project was initially jointly led by the late Professor Declan McKeever and Professor Werling and the RVC are proud to continue taking forward this important project despite Professor McKeever’s recent sad death.
In January 2014, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) announced formation of a global consortium to develop a new vaccine against the tick-borne livestock disease East Coast fever. AllAfrica.com featured a photoessay that tells the story of the risks posed to the livelihoods of herders and farmers in Africa by East Coast fever as well as previous research attempts to fight the disease.
‘A team of scientists from The International Livestock Research Institute has launched a project of developing a superior vaccine against the East Coast Fever known to kill one animal after every 30 seconds and currently threatening some 28 million cattle in East and Central Africa. . . .’
Henry Kiara, an ILRI veterinary epidemiologist explains why a new vaccine against East Coast fever matters for farmers.