The trypanosomiasis research programme at ILRAD
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The trypanosomiasis research programme in the Laboratory has two broad objectives. First, to develop approaches and technologies which will enable currently available control strategies to be applied more effectively and, second, to develop novel means of control. Trypanosomiasis control at present relies on three basic approaches: (a)chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis, (b) vector-control and (c) the farming of trypanotolerant livestock. The Laboratory has not engaged in research on improved means of vector control, this being the mandate of other institutions, most notably the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)in Nairobi. This research at ILRAD, which may lead to the development of novel control technologies, was considerably strengthened during the 1980s by the establishment of a herd at trypanotolerant N'Dama cattle in the Laboratory, providing scientists with the means to compare and contrast immune and pathological responses in resistant and susceptible host types. The Laboratory's programme on development of novel control strategies envisages two principal outputs vaccines and candidate trypanotolerance genes. In this way it may be possible to identify the key features of response to infection which impart resistance to the disease as it occurs in genetically resistant cattle, and at the same time, this may lead to the identification of candidate genes for the trypanotolerance trait.
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