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Multivalent approach for the improvement of inactivated vaccines against small ruminant diseases in Africa (MultiVacc)



Photo: Brian Sokol

Small ruminants such as goats require less labour and land use than cattle, so they are an important source of food and economic security for livestock smallholders in developing countries. However, small ruminants are also susceptible to many diseases. These include two often fatal diseases that are prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa: heartwater and contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). Heartwater is a tick-borne disease of domestic and wild ruminants, while CCPP is a severe respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (Mccp) bacteria.

Why are improved vaccines for small ruminant diseases necessary?

Current heartwater vaccines are not very effective because they only protect against a single genotype, yet many strains of the disease can be present in the same area.  CCPP vaccines are produced using Mccp bacteria cultures, and because these cultures are slow-growing and low-yield, vaccines are expensive to produce.

Developing an innovative solution

The heartwater vaccine being developed in this project will address current limitations by including a variety of strains from different genotypes in a single injection. Researchers will also create a novel CCPP vaccine by using a much faster growing but closely related strain of bacteria, Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum (Mcc), to dramatically reduce production costs.

Expected results

The expected outcome of this project is a bivalent heartwater-CCPP vaccine conferring protection after a single injection. At the same time, the possibility of co-administering a peste des petits ruminants (PPR) vaccine will also be tested. The PPR campaign efforts may be used as leverage to encourage the adoption of the heartwater-CCPP vaccine. Combined vaccines will reduce the cost of vaccination, resulting in healthier goats and reduced mortality. This will also increase the accessibility of vaccines to goat farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lead institutions

This project is a collaboration between the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) in France, the Centre international de recherche-développement sur l’élevage en zone subhumide (CIRDES) in Burkina Faso, and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

  • Duration: 30 months
  • Budget: CA$1.1 million