The cow and the butterfly
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CTA. 2002. The cow and the butterfly. Spore 100. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47616
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore100.pdf
The spectre of rinderpest has long haunted Africa, ever since its arrival on the continent through the Ethiopian port of Massawa in 1888. Since then it has spelt death to millions of animals. It seems to have largely disappeared, at least for the...
The spectre of rinderpest has long haunted Africa, ever since its arrival on the continent through the Ethiopian port of Massawa in 1888. Since then it has spelt death to millions of animals. It seems to have largely disappeared, at least for the moment, but is forever lurking quietly, reproducing itself, and ready to strike at any moment. The line 2 of the rinderpest virus, which afflicts wild buffalo, cannot be spotted by traditional monitoring tools. This has led to research on new monitoring instruments which could trace the virus and help to contain it quickly and efficiently. Three organisations in the world are working on this: the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) of Pirbright (UK); Cirad, the French centre for international cooperation in agricultural research in Montpellier; and the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute ISRA in Dakar. They are testing a kit comprising plates which, when some animal cells and reagents have been placed on them, show up in specific colours which indicate the virus s presence. The special feature of the kit which has been developed by ISRA is that the protein used to trace antibodies is produced by a butterfly (Spodoptera frugiperda) into which the gene of the virus has been added. At present, the research centres tests are being validated by the Nairobi-based International Bureau for Animal Resources of the Union. J Sarr, ISRA-LNERV BP 2057, Dakar, Senegal Fax: +221 832 21 18 Email: email@example.com