NaLIRRI initiates work on developing a dual vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease and Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Winnie Nanteza
2 Min Read

Scientists at NaLIRRI, have received funding from Science, Technology & Innovation-Office of the President to embark on a groundbreaking project aimed at developing a dual vaccine for two of Uganda’s most debilitating livestock diseases – Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD).

Dr. Tonny Kabuuka, the Project Principal Investigator, expressed the significance of this initiative, stating, “Our goal is to revolutionize animal disease control in Uganda by producing a locally-developed vaccine that effectively combats both LSD and FMD.” This project comes as a response to Uganda’s heavy reliance on imported vaccines, which often fall short in terms of supply and efficacy.

Lumpy Skin Disease, caused by the LSD virus, poses a significant threat to Uganda’s cattle population, with annual outbreaks wreaking havoc on livestock and livelihoods. Dr. Kabuuka explained, “By leveraging the endemic nature of LSD in Uganda, we aim to utilize the virus as a vector to deliver protective proteins against FMD, thereby creating a dual-purpose vaccine.”

Foot-and-Mouth Disease, another major concern for the country’s livestock industry, has been a persistent challenge due to the diversity of virus serotypes circulating in Uganda. Dr. Kabuuka highlighted the need for improved diagnosis and control measures, stating, “Our project aims to address the gaps in FMD control by developing a vaccine that matches the circulating virus strains, thus reducing the risk of mismatches and costly importations.”

The objectives of the project encompass a comprehensive approach, ranging from virus collection and sequencing to in-vitro and in-vivo testing of the vaccine candidates. Dr. Kabuuka emphasized, “Through rigorous scientific research and testing, we aim to ensure that our dual vaccine is not only effective but also safe for use in Uganda’s livestock population.”

The successful development of this dual vaccine holds immense promise for Uganda’s agricultural sector, offering a sustainable solution to disease control while promoting import substitution and job creation.

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