1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this effort is to support the engagement of USDA collaborative research with ILRI and National research institutions engaged in research that addresses the development of new generation vaccines, diagnostic tests, management strategies and drugs for diseases of critical importance including Rift Valley fever (RVF), MCF, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and other diseases of strategic importance.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
ILRI will participate in and help support activities that underpin the establishment and implementation of collaborative research and supporting activities, such as establishing sub agreements with relevant NARS, developing publications, co-organizing and supporting attendance at meetings and facilitating working groups that support research cooperation that would help to meet the objective. These activities will be identified in consultation with, and under the agreement of, the ADODR and ARS cooperators.
3. Progress Report
This report documents research conducted under a Specific Cooperative agreement between USDA-ARS and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The purpose of this cooperation is to underpin and seed cooperative research activities between ARS, ILRI and other animal health research institutions. Progress was obtained through meetings and regular email communication between key ILRI and ARS staff. During this past year (July 2009 to June 2010), ILRI supported and co-organized with ARS a workshop held on the ILRI campus Aug 27-28th 2009. The objectives of this workshop were to provide an update on RVF research activities and to help develop BEP funded RVF-related projects identified during the Cairo workshop in January 2009. Scientists from key national research institutional cooperators, KARI and KEMRI, and partners, the University of Nairobi, Walter Reed, CDC, FAO, OVI and OBP (South Africa), ICIPE and ILRI, participated with US-based scientists. ILRI supported the participation of a South African scientist from the Ondersteeport Veterinary Institute. ARS staff, Eileen Herrera, OIRP, Dan Strickman, APP, Ken Linthicum, CMAVE (Gainesville) and Kristine Bennett and Bill Wilson, ABADRL (Laramie), also participated and helped plan the meeting. The event included a progress report on a Google Foundation funded consortium activity called AVID (Arbovirus Incidence and Diversity), led by ICIPE with KARI, KEMRI, DVS, KWS, MoPHS and ILRI. This consortium is developing platforms for pathogen detection and surveillance with a focus on RVF and offers opportunities for expanding the collaboration with ARS. The meeting was preceded by a field trip for the US-based scientists from 24-26th Aug 2010 who were accompanied by Vish Nene (ILRI). The group visited sites in Marigat-Baringo where collaborators under the AVID project are planning to collect potential Rift Valley fever (RVF) mosquito vectors and samples from sentinel sheep and goats to monitor RVF transmission. In Marigat they also visited the US Army Medical Research Unit – Kenya (Walter Reed) laboratory and field site where vector control research is being conducted. This was followed by a visit to the Walter Reed and CDC field site in Kisumu where significant effort is made to address Malaria, RVF and other diseases and to control vectors and biting arthropods. Following the RVF meeting, ILRI staff have been communicating with Bill Wilson (ABADRL, Laramie) on vaccine and diagnostic developments. Bill visited ILRI and gave a seminar on 30th April 2010. ILRI has a comparative advantage in ruminant cellular immunology and this could be an important component in assessing the immunogenicity of vaccine formulations. A second project developing under this umbrella is an effort to develop a sub unit vaccine to address tickborne disease, including East Coast Fever. This effort is being led by ARS-Pullman, Dr. Don Knowles and Vish Nene, ILRI.