Development of 2 multivalent RVF vaccines for improved uptake in cattle and in small ruminants

April 06, 2018
Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund

Cows

Photo: IDRC

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral disease of goats, sheep, cattle, and humans. It is endemic in large parts of Africa, with outbreaks occurring in three to five-year cycles. RVF not only affects the economic and food security of smallholder farmers in Africa, it also poses a serious public health risk. As a zoonotic disease, RVF has become a greater concern in recent years, with an increasing number of human cases recorded in Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda.  

Why is a new RVF vaccine necessary?

The establishment of herd immunity through regular vaccination of livestock is recognized as an effective way of controlling RVF epidemics and halting its spread to the human population. However, achieving herd immunity is difficult because farmers do not see the need for vaccines when their livestock are healthy during the long periods between RVF outbreaks. It is therefore envisaged that if RVF could be combined with a vaccine that farmers routinely use, herd immunity against RVF would be enhanced.

Developing an innovative solution

MCI Santé animale will combine RVF vaccines with other commonly used ruminant vaccines such as sheep and goat pox (SGP), peste des petits ruminants (PPR), or lumpy skin disease (LSD) in an attempt to increase usage. MCI already has a registered vaccine combination of SGP and PPR. The RVF virus strain to be used is the attenuated thermostable Clone 13.

Expected results

The expected outcome of this project is two new combination RVF vaccines that will encourage use by smallholder farmers. One will be a bivalent RVF/LSD vaccine for cattle, and the other a trivalent SGP/PPR/RVF vaccine for sheep and goats. The combined vaccine’s production technology will also be transferred to the African Union Pan-African Veterinary Vaccines Centre (AU-PANVAC) in Ethiopia for the purpose of quality control of future vaccines.

Lead institutions

This project is led by MCI Santé animale of Morocco.

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Budget: CA$1.2 million