New control strategy for East Coast Fever
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CTA. 1993. New control strategy for East Coast Fever. Spore 47. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49238
Infecting calves with Theileriosis which causes East Coast Fever, and then immediately treating them is the latest strategy to beat this major disease of cattle in Africa. This strategy appears to give the cattle immunity for life. East Coast Fever...
Infecting calves with Theileriosis which causes East Coast Fever, and then immediately treating them is the latest strategy to beat this major disease of cattle in Africa. This strategy appears to give the cattle immunity for life. East Coast Fever (ECF) is now thought to kill nearly half the calves born to exotic and crossbred cattle in East and Central Africa. Very often 10-15% of indigenous calves can succumb as well. ECF is transmitted by a tick and most control programmes to-date have been aimed at getting rid of the tick by regular dipping of the cattle. This is time consuming, expensive stressful to the animals and is not 100% effective. Developing a vaccine is proving very difficult, despite years of research. The latest strategy has evolved from the knowledge that if cattle recover from the disease then they are immune for life. FAO has therefore initiated a programme in East, Central and Southern Africa, which has been funded by DANIDA and is being coordinated by Dr Rupert Pegrem, to infect calves with ECF and then treat them. Strains of the disease have been selected to make a 'live' vaccine. Since this has to be kept in liquid nitrogen until just before use, distribution is difficult and therefore expensive. For this reason, treatment is being targeted initially at crossbred milking cows. In a pilot phase over 80,000 cattle have been immunized in Zambia. The next phase will extend the treatment in Zambia and take it to Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda. Trials will also begin in neighbouring countries. FAO Theileriosis and Tick Control Project, PO Box 8101 Causeway Harare ZIMBABWE