A4NH / Canada / East Africa / Epidemiology / Event report / Farming Systems / Food Security / Geodata / ICT / Livestock / Poultry / RVF / Seeds / Uganda / Zambia / Zimbabwe

New consortium to investigate environmental changes spreading diseases between animals and people in Africa

Malawi crop-and-livestock farmer (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan). One of the drivers of disease in Africa, a continent with a particularly heavy disease burden, are environmental changes that help to spread infectious pathogens between animals (both wild and domestic) and people. That is why the start of a new research program, in which the International Livestock … Continue reading

Animal Diseases / Biotechnology / Diagnostics / Disease Control / Drylands / East Africa / Emerging Diseases / Environment / Epidemiology / Event / Human Health / ILRI / Kenya / Research / RVF / Southern Africa / USA / Zoonotic Diseases

Could Rift Valley fever be a weapon of mass destruction? An insidious insect-animal-people infection loop explored

The Fifth Plague: Livestock Disease, woodcut by Gustave Doré, 1866 (public domain, via Wikimedia Commons). Anthrax, bird flu , Ebola, HIV-AIDS, H1N1, H5N1, influenza, Rift Valley fever, SARS: What are the disease links between people, animals and environments? And what are we doing to protect ourselves against the next outbreak of a deadly infectious disease? … Continue reading

Biotechnology / Diagnostics / Disease Control / ECF / Film and video / Kenya / Livestock / RVF / Vaccines

Finding a needle in a (molecular) haystack: A decade-long search for a parasite molecule on which to build a new vaccine against East Coast fever comes to fruition

For the November 2011 ‘liveSTOCK Exchange’ event at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Roger Pellé, a molecular biologist from Cameroon, reflects on ILRI’s biotechnology research accomplishments over the past decade that have involved partnerships with centres and countries in Africa. ‘I first came to ILRI in 1990 to work on trypanosomosis, a cattle disease … Continue reading

A4NH / Agri-Health / Animal Diseases / Diagnostics / Disease Control / East Africa / Epidemiology / Event / Human Health / ILRI / Kenya / Middle East / RVF / Trade / Zoonotic Diseases

Kenya forges new pact with Horn and Middle East in old war against deadly Rift Valley fever

The pathogenesis of Rift Valley fever. Viruses 2011, 3(5), 493-519; doi:10.3390/v3050493 (image credit: A J Cann’s Flickr photostream). Kenya’s Business Daily newspaper reports that Kenya is forging a new pact in an old war against the deadly mosquito-transmitted ‘zoonotic’—human plus livestock—disease called Rift Valley fever. ‘Kenya has partnered with neighbouring stats to boost surveillance on Rift Valley … Continue reading

Animal Diseases / Cattle / Diagnostics / Disease Control / Epidemiology / ILRI / Markets / Middle East / RVF / Trade / Zoonotic Diseases

Officials from Middle East and Africa meet to tackle Rift Valley fever, disease of livestock and people

The New Agriculturist reports today that ‘As the Middle East increases livestock imports from Africa, officials are meeting in Dubai to develop a strategy to prevent the spread of Rift Valley fever, without banning livestock imports from the Horn of Africa. . . . ‘To guide their responses to the disease, officials from the Middle … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Disease Control / East Africa / ILRI / Kenya / Knowledge and Information / Livestock / RVF / Tanzania

Traditional knowledge key to managing Rift Valley fever

By assessing key risk factors and symptoms, such as an increase in rainfall and high abortion rates, Somali and Maasai herders accurately predicted the outbreak of Rift Valley fever in 2006/07 long before veterinary and public health interventions began, researchers have discovered. “Timely outbreak response requires effective early warning and surveillance systems,” say authors of … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Disease Control / East Africa / Kenya / Livestock / RVF

Why is Rift Valley fever such a menace to livestock in Eastern Africa?

Mid-2010 , the Kenya’s Ministry of livestock development placed its veterinary department on high alert over a possible outbreak of a Rift Valley fever epidemic in the North Eastern, Upper Eastern and Rift Valley provinces. Livestock Minister Mohamed Kuti, while issuing the alert, announced that a massive vaccination campaign was due to begin in the … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Animal Health / Disease Control / East Africa / Kenya / Middle East / North Africa / RVF / Somalia / Tanzania / Trade / Value Chains

Economic losses from Rift Valley fever greater than previous documented

‘Kenya’s livestock farmers were hardest hit as a result of the death of their animals from the Rift Valley fever disease outbreak in 2006/2007, with total economic losses from livestock deaths valued at over 7.6 million US dollars, researchers revealed. ‘According to the researchers at the Market Opportunities Theme of the International Livestock Research Institute … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Disease Control / Namibia / RVF / Southern Africa

Namibia prevented spread of Rift Valley fever, saved lives

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf yesterday commended Namibia for acting swiftly and effectively to halt the spread of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in the country during recent outbreaks. Speaking at a meeting in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Windhoek, Diouf praised the Namibian institutions involved. “Their alertness and prompt reaction prevented outbreaks of … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Disease Control / RVF / Vaccines

New vaccine strategies could safely control Rift Valley fever

Two new approaches could form the basis for the first-ever human vaccine for Rift Valley Fever (RVF), an infectious disease that threatens both farm animals and people, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research. Reported in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, experimental vaccines developed with these approaches produced strong immune responses in … Continue reading