News / Africa

African Livestock May Benefit From A Scientific Breakthrough In Fighting Tsetse Fly Parasite

African Livestock May  Benefit  From  A Scientific  Breakthrough  In  Fighting  Tsetse Fly Parasite
African Livestock May Benefit From A Scientific Breakthrough In Fighting Tsetse Fly Parasite
Kim Lewis

A team of scientists have made a revolutionary breakthrough on a parasite carried by the tsetse fly.  The researchers say it may prove to be vitally important to the lives and livelihoods of millions of African farmers.

The parasite known as trypanosome causes both African sleeping sickness in people and a wasting disease in cattle.

Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya have been working on the cattle equivalent of the disease trypanosomiasis.

Steve Kemp is senior author of the study and told VOA what they found.

“We’ve been working on the cattle equivalent of the disease and found one of the interesting features of the disease is that some breeds of cattle are extremely resistant to the affects of Trypanosomiasis.  They have trypanosome swimming around in their bloodstream, but, they remain perfectly healthy and  productive.  Whereas most  cattle die very quickly following the infection."

Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya have been working on the cattle equivalent of the disease trypanosomiasis
Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya have been working on the cattle equivalent of the disease trypanosomiasis

Kemp says the research was aimed at understanding how resistant animals resist the affects of the pathogen.  They identified two genes that play an important role in this and are involved in the innate immune response, which is a significant find.

“It is important because it provids a way of selective guiding and breeding  for resistance to trypanosomiasis.

There are still a number of pieces that need to be fitted together in that jigsaw before it is a direct help to farmers in Africa,” said Kemp, but it highlighted, “what this has allowed us to do is ask some basic questions about how the immune response works.

That has a payoff in understanding human diseases and other animal diseases.”
Kemp explained that the trypanosome parasite is transmitted by the tsetse fly.

“The tsetse fly bites the cattle and injects the parasite into the bloodstream.  It causes severe anemia and severe weight loss in most animals.  Susceptible animals will typically die in a few weeks of infection.  Other animals are able to remain  fit and healthy despite the presence of trypanosomiasis.

Livestock are vitally important to the agriculture system throughout all of Africa.  Kemp says it is not just a question of meat production or milk production.  “Livestock are involved in crop production in that they pull plows. They deliver goods to market. They provide manure. They provide a banking system. They provide a resource that can be sold and called upon in times of need,” explained  Kemp.

What trypanosomiasis does is remove that whole vital slice from agricultural systems.  

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid