NARO scientists optimistic as trials of Anti-tick Vaccine gets into final stages


    Scientists at Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Institute (NARO) have announced successful evaluation of a home-made Anti-Tick Vaccine that has been under development, a scientific breakthrough that will save the country trillions of money in losses.

    According to Dr. Frederick Kabi, the Principal Research Officer for NARO, Uganda’s Anti-tick vaccines has undergone successful field trials in different geographical settings, and the product is ready for commercial production as well as integration into the present tick control programme in Uganda.

    Speaking to journalists in Kampala today, Dr. Kabi said trials on NARO Anti-Tick Vaccine have been ongoing at Uganda Prison’s Farm Isimba, Uganda Prison Farm Kiburara, Maruzi Livestock Research Centre, Nabuin ZARDI in the district of Masindi, the Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MbZARDI), and proved effective against ticks.

    “We have finished the proof of concept, clinical trials and now field trials; and in the next financial year, we are going to acquire equipment for production.” Dr. Kabe told journalists during a Bio-Cafe at Fair Way Hotel on Friday convened by Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE) and Uganda Biotechnology & Biosafety Consortium (UBBC) with support from the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS).

    Scientists at NARO have been developing the Anti-Tick vaccine to specifically protect against the three economic ticks in the country, such as brown ear tick, the blue tick, and the Bont-legged tick.
    Dr. Kabi, said the trial vaccine has already passed initial test stages [laboratory tests, proof of concept, on-station clinical trials administered both orally and by intramuscular injection] of prequalification, and now in the final geographical trial stage.

    Dr. Kabi said the vaccine kills all types of ticks and trials have been conducted on different cattle breeds including Ankole long-horned cattle, fresian, boran, short-horned Zebu and others.

    NARO scientists say the ant-tick vaccine will save the country an annual loss of Shs 3.8 trillion caused by ticks and tick-borne diseases through high treatment costs using accaricides, low-grade products, etc.

    They also believe that the investment being the first of its kind will make Uganda a leading hub for livestock vaccines in the region.

    NARO researchers are also progressively developing other vaccines against foot and mouth disease [FMD], African Swine Fever [ASF], Newcastle disease [NCD], Gumboro, and east coast fever [ECF].

    Dr. Kabi however said the funding for the project has been inconsistent which sometimes has led to occasioned delays in the vaccine development process. He also hopes the project may acquire support from external funders since it has matured and proved to be very effective.



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