Tick Unit

Tick Unit

The ILRI Tick Unit is a unique facility and has been selected as Africa’s first outputs for the Tick Cell Biobank. This provides the opportunity for scientists to study tickborne disease using respective cell lines. The parent Tick Cell Biobank is at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool housing a collection of 55 cell lines derived from ticks which are both of veterinary and medicinal importance. The Tick Unit has also contributed to animal health research through vaccine development and vector genomics.  The unit includes a unique biological resource not found anywhere else in the world, comprising four genera of ticks: Rhipicephalus, Boophilus, Hyalomma and Amblyomma. Laboratory colonies presently under maintenance at the unit are:

  • Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (seven different stocks and lines from eastern and southern Africa). The R. appendiculatus tick populations include selected lines derived from the Kiambu stock that differ in susceptibility to Theileria parva infection.
  • Rhipicephalus zambeziensis
  • Rhipicephalus evertsi
  • Amblyomma variegatum
  • Boophilus decoloratus
  • Boophilus microplus
  • Hyalomma sp.


Vish Nene

Vish Nene

Co-leader Animal and Human Health program

Gad Milton Owido

Gad Milton Owido

Research Officer

Naftaly Githaka

Naftaly Githaka

Senior Scientist & Tick Unit Manager

Our partners

University of Liverpool

University of Nairobi

Washington State University

International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas


The Pirbright Institute

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

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