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Ugandan Scientists Develop Anti tick Vaccine

Ugandan Scientists Develop Anti tick Vaccine

Following an advancement by scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation in the development of anti-tick vaccine farmers in Uganda and across will cry no more.

For long scientists at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute have been conducting research since 2016 in a bid to come up with a vaccine to save farmers from the load of tick bone afflictions.

Cattle keeping world wide is a business aimed to avail food, cash and manure as well as for industrialization.

In regards experts contend that close to 80% of cattle globally are affected by tick bone diseases and in Uganda the loss arising from this challenge is closely to Shs 3.8t annually.

However Anti tick vaccines were first tested 1937 in Australia and Cuba but in Uganda this is the first of its kind.

In 1964 the government of Uganda launched the first ever large scale compulsory tick control scheme in Kyaggwe that involved close to 44000 cattle which were sprayed in 97 spraying centres which were fully financed by USaid and acaricide was free.

Meanwhile this scheme was considered successful and indigenous cattle population increased from 44000 in 1964 to 55000 in 1966 while the exotic cattle’s increased from 750 in 1964 to 2300 in 1967.

These control ticks and tick bone diseases have been unsuccessful as many farmers still complain of an increase in tick borne disease such as the East Coast fever and heart water that is affecting their cattle.

However the lead investigator of the anti tick vaccine development Dr Fredrick Kabi explained the status to a team of science journalists during the bio cafe meeting in Kampala noting that the new vaccine constitutes an effective and sustainable alternative in controlling ticks compared to the use of acaricides which gives quick results though it takes a slow effect since the animals are vaccinated there by weakening the ticks and eventually die off.

He explained further that the targeted tick species including Rhipicehalus appendiculatus, Amblyomma among others which were affecting most cattle breeds in the country.

According to Dr Paul Kasaija a PHD holder involved in the anti tick vaccine explained further that at the laboratory level, scientists study the different stages of tick growth namely egg, nymph and adult.

They further identify molecules in the gene of the ticks and carry out gene silencing of the molecule which enables the ticks to transmit diseases and these are knocked out.

The anti tick vaccine will disable tick feeding on animals, its reproduction, disease transmission and its moulting behaviour to disable its growth and once released farmers and veterinary doctors will administer it either through intramuscular injection or by swallowing it orally.

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About lukwago J

Posted by LUKWAGO. J: He's a writer, editor, blogger, affiliate and a web developer, he loves thinking creatively and finding new ways to implement different programming ideas.

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