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  • The overall purpose of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Rift Valley Fever Control in Agriculture is to increase the food supply by developing and applying a vaccine for the prevention of Rift Valley fever disease among livestock in Africa.

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Program Description

The specific aim is to conduct a 5 year research project to develop and evaluate a vaccine for the prevention of Rift Valley fever (RVF) among livestock in Tanzania and other RVF virus enzootic African regions and thereby improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods in Africa as a USAID priority under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

RVF is a mosquito-borne viral disease that continues to have a devastating impact on human and animal health in Africa.

The project involves the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Texas as the lead institution and will collaborate with the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, Texas, the USDA Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit (ABADRU), Manhattan, Kansas, The Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro, Tanzania to develop and evaluate bioassays, perform reassortment studies of the vaccine as a safety precaution, evaluate a needle free vaccine delivery device and conduct safety and immunogenicity trials in livestock at SUA, and the industrial partner, MCI Sante Animale Pharmaceutical Company in Mohammedia, Morocco, the industrial partner will manufacture the vaccine under Good Laboratory Practices for distribution and use.

Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Africa have been associated with climate conditions in the Pacific and Indian Oceans that can be accessed at the link below. The USDA maintains a rolling three month update on a monthly basis of the state of the climatic and ecological indicators used in monitoring areas at risk to RVF activity. These indicators include, global SST anomalies patterns, Equatorial Western Indian Ocean (WIO) and Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO: NINO 3.4) SST anomalies, Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) anomalies, Rainfall and anomalies, Normalized Difference Vegetation index anomalies and RVF risk map for Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

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UTMBM.C.I Santé Animale

The University of Texas at El Paso.
500 West University Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79968
(915) 747-5000