How will the project contribute to research and development for Africa?
At present, little information exists on animal immunity to CBPP, the nature of protective immune responses or on the mechanisms of pathology. A small number of antigens2 that are suspected to be involved in the disease process have been unsuccessfully tested in vaccination trials. Such trial and error strategies using best possible guesses may have produced successful vaccines before, but it seems unlikely to work for CBPP.
This project provides a systematic approach to develop a new vaccine with a higher efficacy and a longer period of immunity than the current live vaccine. In order to do this, the project team requires an understanding of the basis of protection and virulence, before making a calculated approach to develop such a vaccine.
Previous studies have suggested that in large quantities, inactive mycoplasma or mycoplasma products can induce immunity. This project will evaluate the use of these inactive mycoplasma to develop a vaccine that does not need to be refrigerated, that may protect animals for a longer period and that protect a higher percentage of cattle. To evaluate the use of inactive mycoplasma, the research team will first develop a reproducible challenge method that resembles as much as possible natural infections.