Re-assessment of tick control after immunization against East Coast Fever in the Eastern Province of Zambia

DL Berkvens

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    East Coast Fever, caused by the protozoon Theileria parva and transmitted by the ixodid tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus is one of the most important cattle diseases in east and central Africa, responsible for considerable direct losses and necessitating expensive control measures. Traditionally, the disease was controlled by means of intensive tick control. The Belgian Animal Disease Control Project was requested to study the disease epizootiology and vector ecology in order to formulate and implement a control program adapted to the requirements and capabilities of the cattle owners in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The weaknesses of a rigorous tick control program were demonstrated. It was decided to initiate an immunization program in the enzootic areas. The overall calf mortality rate was lowered by 90% and it was shown that none of the other tick-borne diseases caused significant problems in the absence of tick control. The tick ecology studies had indicated that the climatic conditions in the area were so unfavourable that the important vector species (Amblyomma variegatum, Boophilus microplus and R. appendiculatus) would not attain problem levels. It was therefore recommended to suspend all tick control in the area. Control of East Coast Fever in the epizootic and disease-free areas is still a more complex issue. It appears unlikely that the latter will remain disease-free, because of the proximity of the enzootic areas and because of considerable cattle movement in the province. Given the advantages of control by immunization, it can be argued that a longterm solution should be based on this approach.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAnnales de la Société Belge de Médecine Tropicale
    Issue numberSuppl.1
    Pages (from-to)87-94
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Animal diseases
    • Protozoal diseases
    • East Coast fever
    • Theileriasis
    • Theileria parva
    • Vaccination
    • Vector control
    • Ticks
    • Rhipicephalus
    • Dipping
    • Insecticides
    • Zambia
    • Africa-Southern


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