KARI VRC Annual Report 2006

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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
In 2006 the funds for research were mainly provided by the World Bank through the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project (KAPP). The livestock virology sub-programme proposed to test a penside kit for the diagnosis of rinderpest in the field. This kit is useful in the final eradication of rinderpest whose last foci are in the so called Somali Ecosystem. The kit was finally obtained from BDSL of UK and the testing was to be carried out in the coming calendar year. The other activity was to test fencing as a possible means of controlling malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). The Director KARl allocated some funds to put in place the requirements for accreditation of the virology laboratory which serves as a national and regional reference centre for rinderpest and PPR for the DVS, FAO and AU/I BAR. The laboratory continues to test samples for both diseases. Preparations to test a marked rinderpest vaccine ('markvac') for use in the final eradication of rinderpest were finalised during the year. Such a vaccine is useful at this twilight stage of rinderpest eradication because it is thermostable and it has an in-built marker to enable the serological distinction of antibodies due to vaccination from those due to natural infection. This activity is funded by the EU. With the reported cases of PPR in Turkana in 2006, the division has to position itself to handle researchable issues pertaining to the disease. Testing of a heterologous PPR virus vaccine for protection against rinderpest was concluded. The results showed that the test PPR vaccine was not efficacious enough for immunization of cattle against rinderpest.