Tick unit

The tick unit, also referred to as the vector lab, is a unit under the animal biosciences program that has been in existence since 1979. The unit is instrumental to past and present ILRI contributions to animal health research through vaccine development and vector genomics. The unit has the ability to perform controlled animal experiments using up to 16 cattle (the target host for most interventions) simultaneously.

ILRI tick unit includes a unique biological resource not found anywhere else in the world, comprising of four (three) genera of ticks; Rhipicephalus, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus), Hyalomma and Amblyomma. Laboratory colonies presently under maintenance at the unit are:

 
  • Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (7 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 T. parva infection.
  • R.Zambeziensis,
  • R.evertsi,
  • Amblyomma variegatum,
  • Boophilus decoloratus,
  • Boophilus microplus
  • Hyalomma sp.


Tremendous research progress has been made over the last ten years to better control the deadly African disease of cattle known as East Coast fever. This disease is caused by a single-celled organism, Theileria parva, which is carried by some tick species. Cattle become infected when a tick carrying the parasite takes a blood-meal from the animal over several days. Continue reading →
ILRI news blog, Jun/2016
The Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine of the Freie Universität Berlin seeks a highly motivated and creative person who is interested in working within a multidisciplinary team. The successful candidate must have a microbiology, immunology or veterinary degree and should be willing to travel and work in Africa for periods of up to several months. Continue reading →
ILRI clippings, Nov/2014
A team of biosciences program staff represents the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) and the VIII International Conference on Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens (TTP8). The joint conference is held in Cape Town, South Africa, 24–29 August 2014. The aim of the conference … Continue reading →
ILRI clippings, Aug/2014
This article provides a short history of the 'live' vaccine (officially known as the infection-and-immunization method of immunization) protecting Africa's cattle against the lethal cattle disease East Coast fever and names the major funding agencies critical to its development over the last four decades and its deployment in more recent years. Continue reading →
ILVAC - saving livestock with vaccines, Aug/2014
ILRI is a sponsor of the 12th Biennial Conference of the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) and the VIII International Conference on Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens (TTP8) to be held from 24 to 29 August 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. ILRI will be hosting a special session on tick research on the morning of 24 August. After a temporary absence from the tick research field, ILRI is actively exploring opportunities to re-enter this research arena. Continue reading →
ILVAC - saving livestock with vaccines, Aug/2014
Gad Milton Ochuka Owido
Research Assistant II
Mary Waithaka
Research Assistant I
Naftaly Githaka
Tick Unit Support Manager
Richard Bishop
Principal Scientist, Molecular Biologist
Stephen Mwaura
Tick Unit Manager