Africa / Animal Diseases / Cattle / Disease Control / ECF / ILRI / ILRIComms / ILVAC / Kenya / LIVESTOCKFISH / Vaccines

New battle starts up against the ‘cancer/malaria’ of cattle in Africa

Pipetting in ILRI's biosciences laboratories

Pipetting in one of ILRI’s animal health laboratories (photo credit: ILRI/David White).

(From Business Daily): ‘An international livestock agency has received an $11 million (Sh935 million) grant for developing a new East Coast Fever vaccine.

‘The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has launched the project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the fight against the disease that the agency says kills an animal every 30 seconds in East and Central Africa.

‘The vaccine will replace the first generation strain that has encountered shortcomings. . . .

‘Estimates from ILRI show that the disease, which kills cows within three to four weeks of infection, threatens some 28 million cattle in East and Central Africa, majority of them owned by poor households.

‘Scientists believe development of the East Coast Fever vaccine could offer in-roads into the development of malaria vaccines as both diseases are caused by single-celled parasites.

‘Dr Nene says that upon invading a cow, the East Coast Fever parasites prompt the animal’s white blood cells to multiply rapidly just as cancerous cells do in the human body.

‘Unravelling the mystery behind this multiplication mechanism — as they work on the development of the new East Coast Fever vaccine — is expected to help scientists to come up with interventions for fighting cancer. . . .

‘Development of a new vaccine could take about 10 years. . . .’

This East Coast fever vaccine project is supported by a USD11-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (USA), with additional support coming from partners in a new consortium established to battle this African cattle killing disease. These partners/investors include the Centre for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases (Malawi); GALVmed, a livestock-oriented non-profit product development partnership (UK); the Institute for Genome Sciences (University of Maryland, USA); the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (Belgium); the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); the Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh, UK); the Royal Veterinary College (UK); the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS); and Washington State University (USA).

Read the whole article by Sarah Ooko at Business Daily (Kenya): Agency launches Sh900m East Coast fever vaccine project, 2 Feb 2014.
Read another report on this topic at AllAfrica.com: Kenya: New East Coast fever vaccine to help in cancer treatment, 4 Feb 2014.
And another in The People (Kenya): New vaccine to slay East Coast fever in the offing, 4 Feb 2014.

Read about previous news articles on this topic on this Clippings Blog:
On a cancer killer of cattle in Africa–Voice of America interviews ILRI’s Vish Nene, VOA, 1 Feb 2014
Scientists launch consortium to control a lethal disease of cattle in Africa, Global Times / Xinhua, 1 Feb 2014

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